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Cbe pagofta library. 

"hinese account 


Opium at 

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ffbe pagot>a library. Ho. t. 

Chinese Account 


Opium War. 

,88& By E. H. PARKER. 

Chinese Account 


Opium War. 



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I O I 

'TPHE following story of the Opium War is to all 
intents and purposes a translation of the last 
two chapters of the SMng Wu-ki, or " Military 
Operations of the present Dynasty." The author 
is Wei Yuan, a Chinese who held, about forty years 
ago, the post of Department Magistrate at Kao-yu, 
north of Yangchow ; and Wei Yuan's style has been 
followed in the translation. Dates have been altered 
so as to convey definite ideas of time to European 
readers, and in some cases the Cantonese or other 
popular pronunciation is given to the names of places 
and persons well known in the south. In some parts 
the original is digested, and wearisome portions have 
been omitted. 

The paper illustrates the extraordinary faithful- 
ness with which the Chinese endeavour to perfect 


their histories ; and this seems to have always been a 
national characteristic In the work of solving the 
riddles of ancient and mediaeval history, the Chinese 
records (if correctly translated) are likely to be 
found as faithful as any, though there may be 


■ *•* - 

• • • 




' I ^HE Manchu Annals introduce the history of the 
-■- English opium war with a statement that, early 
in the summer of 1838, the Director of the Court of 
State Ceremonial, Hwang Tsioh-tsz," represented in 
a Memorial to the Throne that the growing consump- 
tion of foreign opium was at the root of all China's 
troubles. Silver, — and coined dollars proportionately, 
— was becoming scarce and relatively dear, the tael 
having advanced from 1,000 to 1,600 cash in price; b 
the revenue was in confusion, peculation rife, and 
trade disorganized. Opium, he said, came from 
England ; but, though those foreigners were ready 
enough to weaken China and absorb her wealth by 
encouraging its use, so severely did they forbid 
smoking amongst themselves that offending ships 
were sunk by heavy guns. They had possessed 
themselves of [Koh-liu-pa or c ] Java by this means, 
and had endeavoured to seduce Annam, which state, 

a mmm 

6 Dobell says the Spanish dollar was worth 760 cash in 
A.D. 1800. 

c Sf§f El 

• • 

• • • 

• « 

• • * 

• a 

2 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

however, had firmly discouraged any relations with 
them. They were now ruining the bodies and the 
fortunes of the Chinese with their abominable poison ; 
and the memorialist proposed that the penalty of 
death should be decreed against all offenders. In 
consequence of this the Emperor at once remitted 
the matter to the consideration of all the high 
provincial authorities. Without a single exception, 
those officers recommended the most stringent 
measures, and he amongst them who wrote the most 
uncompromisingly was Lin Ts&H-su, a Viceroy of 
Hu Kwang, who was at once sent for to Peking, 
whence, after receiving the Emperor's instructions, 
he was despatched as Special Imperial Commissioner to 
Canton, armed with full Admiral's powers in addition. 
A hundred and fifty years or so earlier, opium 
had been admitted into China and taxed as an 
ordinary drug ; but, previous to the year 1765, the 
annual import had never exceeded 200 chests. In 
consequence of the rapidly increasing number of 
smokers, the import was first forbidden in 1796. Not- 
withstanding this prohibition, the annual clandestine 
sales had, by the year 1820, reached nearly 4,000 
chests. First stored at Macao, the opium gradually 
gravitated to Whampoa; but, after the publication of 
the first severe prohibitions in the u thirties," it was 
finally stowed in hulks lying off the Ling-ting 6 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 3 

Islands, a convenient spot commanding several water- 
routes. The foreign ships used to deposit their 
opium here, and then proceed to the ports with the 
rest of their cargoes. The Foochow, Ningpo, and 
Shanghai junks imported their opium from the high 
seas, whilst the Canton merchants used to arrange 
the price in Canton, and then bring it from the hulks. 
At first there were onlv five of these hulks, and the 
maximum quantity of opium on board did not exceed 
from 4,000 to 5,000 chests, so that the whole might 
easily have been set on fire ; but, as the Viceroy Juan 
Yuan a had asked for some delay, in order to devise 
a plan for driving the hulks away, time went on 
until there were as many as twenty-five hulks, and 
20,000 chests of opium. This was in the year 1826, 
some time after the Viceroy Li Hung-pin b had 
established his service of cruising junks. These junks, 
for a monthly bribe of Tls. 36,000, allowed the opium 
to pass freely into port. 

It had previously been the rule that no silver 
was to go out of the country, and that merchandise 
was to be exchanged for merchandise : as much 
bullion as $500,000 a year was brought by foreign 
traders to adjust the balance : but it gradually came 
to pass that a balance of silver had to be annually 
made up on the Chinese side. To remedy this, the 
Viceroy Lu K'un c abolished the cruisers altogether 

4 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

in 1832. In 1837 the Viceroy T£ng T'iNG-CHfiNG a 
re-established the cruising navy; but the Commodore 
Han Shao-k'ing 6 arranged with the foreign ships 
to convoy the opium for a percentage, which 
percentage he represented as being captured opium, 
and even undertook the import of opium himself. 
For these eminent services he received a peacock's 
feather, and was made a rear-admiral ; in consequence 
of which the yearly import gradually reached a 
figure of 40,000 or 50,000 chests. The suggestion 
made by certain Peking officials that this opium 
should be regularly taxed as a drug was rejected ; 
and in the spring of 1839 Commissioner LiN 
appeared upon the scene. 

LiN called upon the hong merchant No I- wo c 
[Howqua] to deliver up Chatun* [Jardine] and 
Tinti* [Dent], who had been for many years in the 
habit of dealing in opium. Chatun, having got wind 
of this, had already made his escape, but Tinti came 
with the English Company's Consul Ilut' [Elliot] 
from Macao to the Canton Foreign Factory. Lin 
TsfeH-su sent a body of soldiers to keep a watch upon 
them there and to surround the Liptak g Fort, in the 
Canton River, with a cordon of rafts, so as to prevent 
communication therewith. He then ordered the 
surrender, within a given date, of all the opium on 

a mm& b mm& e u^m **«t 

'SUt '*<* "S& 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 5 

board the 25 hulks at Ling-ting, and a free pardon, 
failing which, he threatened to stop supplies of fuel 
and water, and to prevent trade. He proceeded to 
catechise the young gentry attached to the local 
university, and learnt from their unanimous testimony 
that the failure of the opium laws was entirely owing 
to the connivance of the navy. Han Shao-k'ing was 
cashiered at his recommendation; but it was im- 
possible to punish him capitally or according to his 
full deserts, as the Viceroy Teng had recommended 
him for the post. 

The "Company's Consul" a was a foreign official 
despatched by the King of England to superintend 
trading operations. Foreign traders of other nation- 
alities looked after their own trade as individuals. 
England alone had a separate company, consisting 
of the richest merchants in the kingdom, who had 
subscribed a capital of $30,000,000 ; and the King 
sent this consular officer to manage the whole concern. 
All the holding-out for rights and the overbearing 
demands made upon China were the doing of this 
Consul. Hence the traders of the other countries 
were as the individual salt-dealers of China, whilst the 
Company was like the salt-monopolists. Their charter 
was first for 30 years, but was afterwards renewed for 
60 years. In 1833 the Company's charter ceased 
to be exclusive in China, and there was no longer a 


6 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Consul at Canton. This was the first great change in 
foreign affairs. When the Viceroy Lu K'un first 
came to Canton, he was ignorant of our true interests, 
gave ear to the suggestions of the foreign traders, 
and sent a despatch to England directing a Consul 
to be sent as before. The first was Lo Ltjtpi* [Lord 
Napier] who forced his ships past the Bogue, began 
hostilities, and was finally constrained to return home. 
The next was Elliot, who had been at Canton for 
three years when he was besieged in the factory as 
above described. Within a week or two he sent in 
an official petition, offering to surrender the opium as 
instructed, and also to send back to Canton all the 
opium-ships on their way to Japan. The total 
number of chests thus surrendered was 20,283, or, 
at 120 catties apiece, 2,376,000 catties of the drug. 
LiN Ts6h-su and the Viceroy T£ng proceeded to the 
Bogue to superintend the delivery, which was 
completed in the month of May. It was agreed to 
bestow three catties of tea for each one of opium, 
and the opium was ordered by the Emperor to be 
destroyed, instead of being sent to Peking as 
proposed, — the object being to impress the people by 
this public spectacle. This destruction was carried 
out at the Bogue in the presence of Lin TsllH-su, 
the Viceroy, and the Governor. At an elevated spot 
on the shore a space was barricaded in ; here a pit 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 7 

was dag, and filled with opium mixed with brine: 
into this, again, lime was thrown, forming a scalding 
furnace, which made akind of boiling soup of the opium. 
In the evening the mixture was let out by sluices, 
and allowed to flow out to sea with the ebb tide. 

Opium is of four sorts : the best is Kung pan t'ou* 
[or Patna]; the Pdk Vov? [or Malwa] comes next, 
and the Kim fa t 6 ou c [chin hwa t c u or Persian] next 
again ; each chest containing 40 balls. Besides these, 
there is a dearer sort called the smaller Kung pan. 
They all come from Bengal and [? Madras]* in India. 
At the Indian auctions as many as 12,000 chests are 
sometimes sold in a month. Though some of this 
goes to countries farther south, the greater part goes 
to China, which takes from 50,000 to 60,000 chests 
a year. Its price in India is about $250 a 
chest, which price is more than doubled by the time 
it reaches Canton. Thus, the destruction of property 
was from $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 cost price, or 
over $10,000,000 including the profit A number 
of traders from other countries came to witness the 
spectacle, and composed eulogistic essays upon the 
excellence of China's policy in this matter. 

Commissioner Lin then issued orders for the 
ejection of all the opium hulks, and also of the 
disloyal traders at Macao, who were forbidden to 
tarry upon Chinese soil. Ships arriving with opium 

8 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

would not be interfered with if they at once turned 
round and went back, and all ships entering port 
must give bonds agreeing that those found smug- 
gling opium should be confiscated with their cargoes, 
and that the individuals concerned should be executed 
at once. These orders were, however, far too stringent, 
and, anyhow, contrary to the law which provides that 
" Mongols, and other persons beyond the pale of 
" civilization, shall be at liberty to ransom capital 
" offences by a fine payable in cattle." The American 
and other nations, however, gave the bonds required. 
On this, Elliot went down from Canton to Macao, 
and sent in a petition asking that a deputy might be 
despatched to Macao to discuss with him a set of 
rules under which a stop might be permanently put 
to the opium trade; and enlarging upon the abuses 
of the hulk system. He also requested that British 
ships might be permitted to anchor and discharge at 
Macao. This was the second great turning-point in 
foreign affairs. Lin, however, resolutely objected 
to this proposal, grounding his objections on the 
fact that twenty-five ships were the fixed number 
sanctioned for Macao ; and that, if the British did 
not come to Whampoa, the Maritime Customs would 
have no work to do, nor would there be any means 
of putting a check upon opium smuggling. To this 
Elliot replied that, unless permission were granted 
to anchor at Macao, there would be no basis for an 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 9 

understanding. He declined either to receive the 
tea bestowed upon him, or to give bonds; and said he 
must await instructions from his Government before 
he could allow ships to enter port. Elliot had 
already sent despatches home by a trading ship, to 
which a reply might be expected in six months, so 
that a little delay would have made no difference. 
But in the month of July there occurred the Tsim- 
sha Point" case, in which a Chinese, named Lin 
Wei-hi, 6 was killed by a foreign sailor [7th July]. 
Orders were sent to Elliot to surrender the offender in 
satisfaction ; but Elliot — who, however, had no in- 
tention of deliberately disobeying — only had up for ex- 
amination five black barbarians, not the real criminals, 
whilst he offered rewards to any who should come 
forward as informers. In August the Commissioner 
Lin and the Viceroy TIjng, in accordance with law, 
cut off the supply of fuel and provisions from Macao. 
They also held that, as the foreigners resident in 
Macao were there for purposes of trade, they had no 
right to tarry at Macao, seeing that they no longer 
entered port to trade. On this Elliot, together with his 
family and compatriots at Macao, fifty-seven families 
in all, removed from Mac&o, and took quarters on 
board the trading ships at Tsim-sha Point. Elliot, 
now being exasperated, then secretly sent for two men- 
of-war from the foreign ports, and, with three large 

* •& W 58 (opposite Hongkong). * # j££ § 

10 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

trading ships fitted up as cruisers, proceeded to 
Cowloon, where, under pretext of demanding food, he 
engaged our naval force in battle. Captain Lai En- 
TSiOH a succeeded in sinking a two-masted foreign 
ship, two sampans, and a Spanish hulk hired by the 
British. In the eighth moon [October] Elliot got 
the Europeans at Macao to send a message for him, 
to the effect that he was willing to send away the 
hulks and the disloyal traders, and also that the 
trading ships were willing to give bonds agreeing to 
the confiscation of ship and cargo in cases of smug- 
gling [opium]; but he objected to the words "the 
"individuals concerned to be executed at once." 
This was the third turning-point in Canton affairs. 
Lin Ts$h-su, however, insisted upon the insertion 
of these words, so that the bonds of all nationalities 
might be alike ; and, moreover, demanded the sur- 
render of the murderer. Shortly after this, two 
English trading ships did sign bonds as required, 
but Elliot sent two men-of-war [the "Volage" and 
" Hyacinth"] after them to prevent it. He also peti- 
tioned us not to attack and destroy the ships at Tsim- 
sha Point, so that he might await despatches from 
England: but Admiral Kwan T'ien-p'ei 6 returned 
his petition because the murderer was not given up. 
During these premises, five of our war-ships went to 
preserve order on the sea-board, and, the petition 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 11 

having been rejected, the English mistook our red 
flags for a declaration of war, and opened fire ; — for 
in Europe a red flag means war, and a white one peace. 
Admiral Kwan returned their fire, and knocked 
the figure-head off" one ship, causing the death by 
drowning of many European soldiers. In November 
they next unsuccessfully attacked our fort north 
of Tsim-sha Point ; but, as we had poisoned the wells, 
and they feared a night attack, they made off to 
their ships again. 

On receipt of the news of the Oowloon affair, the 
Emperor wrote on the memorialists' report: — "I do 
" not fear your rashness, gentlemen, so much as I fear 
" your cowardice." The Imperial Edict of the 8th of 
the 11th moon (December) ran: — "The English, ever 
" since the opium interdiction, have been vacillating 
" in their conduct. It is no longer consistent with 
" dignity to continue to permit their trade. The 
" trifle of customs duties is of no importance to us. 
" Our dynasty, in conciliating foreigners, has shewn 
" kindness exceeding deep; but the English, instead 
" of being grateful for this, have indulged in ferocious 
" violence, so that they are in the wrong whilst we in 
" the right, as all the world must know. As they have 
" placed themselves outside the pale of our favour, 
" they are not entitled to pity. Let, therefore, the 
" English trade be at once stopped." In the original 
memorial there was a proposal that those ships which 

12 Chinese Account oj the Opium War. 

obeyed the law should receive protection, whilst those 
which were recalcitrant should suffer by being repelled, 
on which the Emperor wrote: — "They are all men 
" of the same country : if they are dealt with 
" differently, there must be inconsistency in it." 
The above is the history of the cutting-off of 
English trade, owing to the opium prohibition. 

Meanwhile, one TsfeffG Wang-yen, Director of 
the Revision Court, had recommended the Emperor 
to close the Customs Houses, and put a complete stop 
to sea-going trade with all countries. This suggestion 
was referred to Commissioner Lin, who strongly 
objected to it, arguing that, if those who had not 
broken the prohibition were excluded from trade 
without reason, they would join in a general attack 
upon ns. The matter then dropped. 

After the closing of the ports to the English, from 
twenty to thirty ships arrived, none of which were 
allowed to enter, much to the chagrin of everybody. 
Elliot now sent in a second petition, saying that 
he had served some years at Canton, and was really 
desirous of peace ; that he was very much distressed 
at the confusion into which affairs had drifted ; that 
he would be very pleased to act in obedience to the 
laws of the Great Pure Dynasty, so long as he had 
not to break his own country's laws : and he begged 
that his countrymen might be allowed to return to 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 18 

Macao pending the arrival of instructions from home, 
when trade could be re-opened. This is the fourth 
turning-point in Canton affairs. 

Lin Ts£h-su held, however, in view of the Em- 
peror's recent instructions, that any divergence there- 
from was inexpedient, and therefore repeated the 
interdiction in the strongest terms. Over ten ships 
then weighed anchor and went out to L6-man Shan, a 
where, in company with a number of new arrivals, 
they gave opium in exchange for provisions brought 
to them by the fishing boats. Lin Ts&h-su was 
now made Viceroy, and arranged with Admiral 
Kwan a plan for utilizing the tanka boatmen and 
fishing-craft in an attack upon the disloyal junks, 
the Chinese war-junks being unfitted for the high 
seas. A number of boats were disposed in the 
various creeks and inlets, and it was arranged that 
an attack should be made simultaneously from four 
directions, going out and returning on one tide. 
Twenty-three junks, engaged in exchanging supplies 
for opium, were burnt at Ch'ang-sha Wan, 6 in the 
month of March, a number of disloyal Chinese were 
burnt in their huts on shore, or drowned ; and a dozen 
or so were taken prisoners. The foreign ships hurriedly 
moved off to escape the fire-boats. The eighteen 
months' law condemning opium-smokers to strangula- 
tion, and opium-dealers to decapitation had now been in 

14 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

force the best part of a year, and as the watch kept 
all over the Empire was very strict, over half the 
smokers were already cured. Meantime, the news of 
the stoppage of trade reached England, and no one 
would sell the stocks of tea at the various emporia, 
which thus accumulated until famine prices were 
reached, so that during this time a profitable trade 
was done by Canton and Foochow junks with Singa- 
pore and other places in the south. There was no 
silver available in the capital of London, where the 
merchants were obliged to borrow large sums from 
neighbouring emporia in order to meet their engage- 
ments. Elliot had sent home for troops, and the 
Queen directed Parliament to deliberate upon the 
matter. The official body, civil and military, were 
for war, whilst the mercantile interest was for peace. 
Discussion went on for several days without any 
definite result, and at last lots were drawn in the 
Lo Chan-sz Temple a [? division before the Lord 
Chancellor] and three tickets were found in favour 
of war, which was therefore decided upon. The 
Queen ordered her relative by marriage, Peh-meh, 6 
[Sir Gordon Bremer] to take a dozen or so of war- 
ships under his command, to which were added twenty 
or thirty guard-ships from India. This was reported 
to the Throne by Lin Ts6h-su in the month of June ; 
but the Emperor still said : — "What can they do if 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 15 

" we quietly wait on the defensive and watch their 
" movements ? " During the night of the 9th of the 
fifth moon [some time in June] Lin Ts&h-su sent 
another naval force to the sea-board off Mo-tau, a 
and succeeded in burning with his fireships two 
foreign sampans, besides killing four white foreigners ; 
and one large foreign ship was obliged to escape the 
fire by leaving its anchor behind. Eleven fishing 
boats were burnt, and thirteen traitorous Chinese 
taken prisoners. Towards the end of June, fifteen 
British men-of-war, including three steamers, assem- 
bled at the Oum-sing Moon, 6 the rest remaining at 
L6-mAn Shan. Lin Ts^h-su sent down ten fireships in 
pairs, each pair connected by iron chains, which swept 
down thus with the tide. The foreign ships all made 
off hastily : but two sampans were burnt ; and from 
this time the English did not venture again into port. 
From the time of his arrival in Canton, Lin 
Ts£h-su had sent out spies daily to get foreign, 
information, and to translate European works. He 
had also purchased newspapers, and discovered there- 
from that the Europeans held the Chinese navy in the 
utmost contempt, but were in great dread of our 
pirates and fishermen. He therefore engaged 5,000 
sturdy men at #6 a month, with $6 extra for each of 
their families, which sum was defrayed by subscription 
amongst the members of the co-hong, the salt-dealers, 

a «7j *&mrc 

16 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

and the Swatow merchants. He also extended a 
chain barrier and a system of rafts across the Bogue, 
and set up on both banks over 200 guns which he 
had purchased from the different European countries. 
He further hired sixty boats of various sorts, which he 
equipped for fighting, and also prepared 20 fire- 
ships and over 100 smaller boats to attack the 
foreign ships. Besides all this, he purchased an old 
foreign ship, and practised his men in the art of 
taking her by assault from the windward with the 
neap tides in their, favour. Lin Ts&H-stJ reviewed his 
fleet in person, and offered $200 for each white man, 
with half the amount for each black man killed. 
For Elliot's head #20,000 was offered, with 
graduated amounts, according to rank, for those of 
the military officers under him. Every man-of-war 
captured would be prize to the captors, with the 
exception of the arms and ammunition, which would 
be surrendered to the viceregal government The re- 
sult of this action was, that the traitorous Chinese be- 
came objects of suspicion to the English, and were all 
sent away. The river inlets west of Macao and east 
of the Bogue were guarded by strong detachments of 
troops ; and, as all the other passages were too rocky 
and shallow for the foreign ships, they went cruising 
along the coasts of China. Thirtv-one of them 
appeared off the Che Kiang coasts, and five made an 
attack upon Amoy, but one of the largest [? the 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 17 

" Blonde "] was sunk through the dispositions of the 
Viceroy T£ng Ting-ch^ng [transferred to Foochow 
on the 6th of February]. He also shipped a number 
of braves on board trading junks, and attacked the 
foreign ships at Namoa. For want of wind, these latter 
were unable to get away, and, having no guns astern, 
were unable with rifles alone to injure our junks, pro- 
tected as they were with bullet-proof mantlets of hide. 
We damaged their sterns, and treated them to a 
volley of stink-pots and fire-balls, killing several 
dozen of the barbarian soldiers. [The " Hellas " was 
attacked on the 22nd of May while becalmed, and 
all her hands were wounded.] On the wind get- 
ting up, the barbarian ships managed to escape. In 
the sixth moon [5th July 1840] their whole fleet 
attacked and captured Ting-hai [Chusan] and block- 
ading detachments then swept the coasts of Fu Kien 
and Kwang Tung. A month later the foreign ships 
made a sudden attack upon the neck of land behind 
Macao, but several of their small boats were sunk by 
our guns, and a score or more of their eyes [officers] 
and men were wounded. A month later Lin Ts^h-su, 
observing a squadron of five ships [ " Enterprise," 
"Larne," "Louisa," "Hyacinth"] off Mo-tau, 
under Smith's* command, sent five junks to sea to 
annihilate them, each junk carrying 600 men. 
Captain Ma Ch'Isn 6 happened to engage [Commodore] 

18 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Smith's ship first, and succeeded in damaging 
her bows, so that she reeled over, and some marines 
were drowned. For a long time we surrounded 
her, until all her ammunition was fired off; 
but the other ships sent a dozen or so of boats 
to surround Ma Chan's junk, and, whilst Ma Ch'^n 
was engaged with these, Smith's ship managed to 
escape. We picked up several corpses, and captured 
some arms and a flag : the facts were duly reported 
to the Emperor, who said Lin "had caused the 
" war by his excessive zeal, and had killed people 
" in order to close their mouths." The meaning 
of this was that the Che Kiang authorities were 
totally unable to do anything for the recovery 
of Ting-hai, and there was no possibility of anyone 
doing so except by fighting at sea, at which exercise 
the foreign ships excelled us ; whilst it had been 
whispered to the Emperor that the foreigners might 
take advantage of China's unreadiness for war to 
invade the country. The Emperor had also now 
heard that, before the opium was surrendered, a 
promise, since broken, had been made to pay for it, 
which was the cause of hostilities : others told him 
that the Viceroy Thing's report of the Amoy affair 
was untrue. Ilipu," Viceroy at Nanking, was there- 
fore sent as Imperial Commissioner to Ningpo, and 
orders were sent to all the Governors of the Coast 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 19 

Provinces to receive at once and report to the Emperor 
the contents of any letters handed in by foreign 
ships. The Under Secretaries Hwang Tsioh-tsz 
and K'l Tsun-tsao" were sent to observe the course 
of events in Fu Kien Province. In the month of 
August, the foreign chief Bremer and five ships 
arrived at Tientsin, with letters from the Pa-li-man 6 
office [Parliament] addressed to the " Premier of the 
" Great Pure Dynasty," and containing a number of 
categorical demands. First, he demanded the value of 
"the produce" (as the first letters euphoniously styled 
"opium"), or "opium" (as he afterwards plainly 
called it). Secondly, he demanded that Canton, 
Amoy, Foochow, Ting-hai, and Shanghai should 
be opened to trade. Thirdly, terms of equality. 
Fourthly, a war indemnity. Fifthly, that merchants 
on shore must not be held responsible for the doings 
of opium-ships on the seas. Sixthly, the abolition 
of the co-hong monopoly. These demands were 
referred to Peking by K'ishen, c Viceroy of Chih Li, 
and meanwhile the foreign ships had not come north, 
as it was hoped that the negotiations for commercial 
privileges would be successful ; so that, if things had 
been properly managed, the treaty would have been 
concluded on the spot. The Tientsin taotai Luh Kien- 
ying^ represented that the three first demands were 
the most important, and suggested that the opium 

20 Chinese Account of the Opi 

should be paid for by remission of duties; that 
Macao should be an open port ; and that the Hopno 
be placed on terms of equality with them ; but that, 
adhering to the principle of rigidly excluding opium, 
these concessions should be conditional upon opium 
not coming ; and that the abolition of the co-hong 
question should be referred by them to Lin TsEfi-sii 
at Canton. In this way satisfaction would be given 
without compromising China's dignity. This is the 
fifth turning-point in western affairs. However, 
those charged with the negotiations thought that tiwy ' 
would not gain so much credit by concluding an 
arrangement at once at Tientsin as if they magnified 
and dragged on the negotiations ; and therefore they 
would give no decided answers to any of the demands. 
Moreover, in the reply, it was hinted that LiN 
Ts£h-s0 would be severely punished if it were found by 
the Emperor's Commissioner that there was anything 
crooked in the alleged "delivery-up of the opium" 
promise of last year. An- Imperial edict appointed 
K'tshen as Commissioner to enquire into the matter. 
Lin Tseh-sO and Teng T'ing-cheng were degraded, 
but ordered to await the result of investigation at 
Canton. Orders were also given to all the coast 
authorities not to fire upon the European ships. The 
applicants then left Tientsin, and declined to surren- 
der Ting-hai, on the ground that the Chinese Govern- 
ment would give no decided answer. Half of their 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 21 

naval force left Chusan for Canton. Lin Ts^h-su 
had represented meanwhile that the other nationalities 
were very indignant at the prolonged stoppage of 
trade by the British, and had said that they would 
send home for armed forces of their own if the 
English did not return quickly. This, he said, 
was just what we wanted, — to set one enemy against 
the other. Three million taels would buy all the 
ships and guns that China wanted ; and, by thus 
imitating the enemy's best methods, we should be able 
to constrain him with his own weapons, and allow 
him to wear himself out in seeking to attack us. 
He offered to redeem his past errors by proceeding to 
Che Kiang with a view to recovering -Ting-hai. 
The Emperor, however, would not agree to his 
proposals. In November Elliot returned to Che 
Kiang, and had an interview with Ilipu at Chen-hai. 
He demanded the surrender of the captured chief 
AN-T'u-Tfe rt [Captain Anstruther] ; and also of the 
foreign ship [" Kite"] which had been stranded on a 
sandbank off Ningpo in September, together with a 
score or two of white and black barbarians. He 
left unsuccessful. Ilipu after this sent his slave 
Chang-hi 6 to the foreign ships with a present of beef 
and wine, and the " welcome news" of the degradation 
of Lin and TSng. The foreign chief Bremer shook 
his head, and said: — "Mr. Lin is one of China's best 

22 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

" Viceroys, and an able and plucky man, though he 
" does not understand foreign ways. You can stop 
" the opium trade, but you cannot stop all our trade, 
" for, if you do that, you will stop our means of 
"subsistence; and we must struggle for trading 
" privileges with all our might. You are very wrong 
" if you think we have come here out of any feeling 
" of hostility towards the Viceroy Lin." Meanwhile 
the people of Chih Li and Shan Tung vied with 
each other in their representations of the modest 
character of the enemy; in consequence of which 
T { OHUft?u, a Governor of Shan Tung, sent presents 
to the foreign fleet, and then represented to the 
Emperor that the foreigners had come ashore and 
made obeisance in a body ! At the same time the 
new Viceroy, Iliang, 6 reported that half of our fleet 
which had been thrown out of commission at Canton, 
had fallen into the enemy's hands. In November 
K'ishen arrived in Canton ; and, finding the official 
despatches from Elliot surrendering the opium, 
tried to find faults in Lin's conduct; but was 
unsuccessful. He then lost the good-will of the 
military by proposing to execute the captain who, 
as he made out, had provoked the naval engagement 
by firing the first shot. The consequence of this was 
that a number of Chinese braves were discharged and 
went over to the English; nay, even received posts 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 23 

of trust from them. The sunken piles were removed 
from the river at Wang-tong, a and several interviews 
were had with Elliot at the Bogue, in consequence 
of which the foreign ships were able to survey 
the river and make charts, not to mention finding 
out all about our dispositions. On the advice of the 
Salt Comptroller Wang Tuh, 6 the services of all the 
civil and military officials were dispensed with, and 
communications were entrusted entirely to a wretch- 
ed Chinese traitor named Pao P^ng, c who had once 
been the pet boy of the traitor Dent, and whom 
Elliot regarded as a menial, conceiving thereupon a 
greater contempt for China's resources in men than 
ever. Elliot wrote to K'ishen, " If you increase 
" the number of your soldiers against us, I will not 
" consent to peace ;" and the result was that we dared 
not re-engage the discharged men. Whenever the 
traitorous spies were denounced, the denouncers were 
accused of being spies ; and whenever persons offered 
information about the foreigners, they were told : — 
" I am not like Viceroy Lin, who, as one of China's 
" great officers, kept spying upon the foreigners all 
"day." In short, the whole policy of the former 
incumbents was reversed. Perhaps the idea in all 
this was to captivate the foreign mind ; but the real 
fact was that the enemy was manufacturing a still 
larger number of boats and junks of all shapes and 

"$£ »£tt '&ffi 

24 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

sizes, besides engaging opium-running snake-boats, 
etc., all armed with rockets, stink-pots, ladders, and 
every kind of equipment. Admiral Kwan con- 
fidentially recommended an increase of troops ; but 
K'isheX firmly refused, fearing that this would 
jeopardise the peace negotiations. Notwithstanding 
an indemnity of seven million taels offered by him 
for the opium destroyed, a port was also demanded. 
K'ishen at first thought of Amoy and Hongkong, 
and consulted Tenq T'ing-chexg; but the latter 
objected to Amoy as being the key to Fu Kien ; and, 
as to Hongkong, he argued that this island occupied 
a prominent and central position in Canton waters, 
sheltered from bad weather by the two islands of Tsim- 
sha Tsui a and K'wen-tai Lou, 6 which, if fortified by 
the English, would be a perpetual menace to Canton. 
K'ishen had represented this to the Throne, and 
therefore could not go back upon his own word, and 
accept Elliot's proposals. Correspondence and 
interviews led to no result; so at last Elliot, on the 
7th of January 1841, suddenly attacked the Sha-kok c 
and the Tai-kok* forts, — the first important line of 
defence outside the Bogue. The guns of the fleet 
bombarded the forts in front, and about 2,000 
Chinese traitors scaled the hills and attacked them 
in the rear. A hundred or more of these were 
blown up by exploded mines; but the rest, far out- 

Chinese Account of the Opium War, 25 

numbering the garrison of 600 men, came swarming 
up notwithstanding. Two or three hundred more 
were killed by our gingalls ; but at last our powder 
was exhausted, and the steam-launches got round to 
Sam-mun Hau, a and burnt our fleet, the crews of 
which either decamped or perished. The W&ng- 
tong, Tsing-yiin and Wai-yiin forts only just 
managed to escape destruction themselves, and were 
unable to offer any succour. The commandant at 
Tai-kok, Ch'Sn Lien-sh^ng, 6 and his son were 
killed, and the two forts fell into the rebels' hands. 
The other three forts, commanded by Admiral Kwan, 
Rear-Admiral Li T'ing-yu, e and Captain Ma Ch'Iin 
had only a few hundred men in them, who could do 
nothing but regard each other with weeping eyes. 
Admiral Kwan sent Li to Canton to crave more 
troops, in which request he was supported by the 
whole official body ; but K'ishen was obdurate, and 
simply spent the night in writing out further peace 
proposals, which he sent by Pao P'Isng to Elliot. 
- Hongkong was offered in addition to the opium 
indemnity, and the Che Kiang [? "Kite"] prisoners 
were exchanged for Ting-hai. A treaty was made, 
and K'ishen gave a dinner to Elliot of the Bogue. 
On the 11th of February the Emperor's refusal to 
ratify was received, and everything was upset again. 

"erp b mmn c mmu 

26 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Now, when K'ishen took leave of the Emperor, 
he had already been instructed to grant free trade, 
if that should be all the English asked ; but, if their 
demands were exorbitant, he was to keep them in 
good humour, strengthen his defences, and ask for 
reinforcements : but he was never told to discharge 
his men and secure peace at all costs. The Emperor 
was furious when he heard of the capture of the forts 
and the menacing attitude of the rebels, and said he 
would not give a cent for the opium nor yield an 
inch of territory. Troops from the south-western pro- 
vinces were ordered to Canton, and both Lin and 
T&NG were ordered to associate themselves with 
K'ishen. K'ishen, however, would not consult LiN 
upon any matter ; and, though the peace negotiations 
had fallen through, he would not allow Admiral 
Kwan to strengthen himself with more troops. On 
the other hand, the enemy enrolled more men than 
ever, added to their equipments, and became a 
hundred times more ferocious than before. Early in 
February, the Emperor had launched a decree des- 
canting upon the crimes of the rebels, and ordering the 
Imperial Clansman Yikshan to Canton as Rebel 
Quelling Generalissimo. Yang Fang, 6 General of 
Hu Nan Province, and Lungw^n, President of 
the Board of Revenue, were associated with him as 
advisers. K'ikung, 4 President of the Board of 

«$m >4i3r »m% "mm 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 27 

Punishments, was ordered to Kiang Si Province to be 
in charge of the Commissariat. General Fang arrived, 
after audience, in March ; but the English had already 
taken the Wang-tong and Bogue forts on the 5th of 
the 2nd Moon [the 26th February], when Admiral 
Kwan was killed. Over 300 guns, together with 
the 200 or more of foreign guns purchased by Lin, 
had fallen into the enemy's hands. The thousand 
or so of men newly arrived from Hu Nan 
were at once sent by K'ishen to the front. 
The Cantonese fled the moment the engagement 
began ; but the Hu Nan men fought as they retreat- 
ed, and half of them were drowned, together with 
their Commander Siangfuh. a There were only two 
places on the Canton River narrow enough to be 
defended, namely, Liptak and Ishamei 6 (20 li) by 
the east channel, and Tai-wong Kao c (15 li) by 
the south-west. Yang Fang sent Brigadier Twan 
YuNG-FUH d with 1,000 men to occupy a temple, 
about three miles distant south-east from Canton, and 
two miles inland from the river. Another Brigadier, 
Ch'ang Ch'un,' was sent to occupy Phoenix Hill, 
about two miles behind Tai-wong Kao. In neither 
case were measures taken sufficient to stop the ships. 
At Liptak and Ishamei, though junks filled with 
stones had been sunk, there were no soldiers to 
prevent the ships from removing them. The English 


Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

were at first rather awed at Yang's military reputa- 
tion, and, not knowing what our dispositions were, 
sent some white foreigners to Phoenix Hill with 
peace proposals. Some traitorous Chinese were with 
them, and they took soundings as they came. 
Ch'ang Ch'un sent the letter on to Canton, and 
meanwhile allowed the traitors to show the foreigners 
all over the camp; when, of course, they reported that 
there were no defences, and advanced, capturing 
Phoenix Hill and the forts commanding Liptak 
and Ish&mei. Meanwhile K'ishen was deprived of 
his titles and honours, and the Emperor was rendered 
more furious than ever at receiving from Iliang an 
English " proclamation," posted at Hongkong [1st 
February 1841], saying : — " As ye are now subjects 
"of Great England, ye ought in right to obey her." 
K'ishen's family was subjected to a domiciliary 
visit, and he himself [ 12th March j was haled in 
chains to Peking. The English, perceiving the Em- 
peror's rage, and seeing the pass things had come 
to, feared that peace was farther off than ever, and 
were most anxious for trade, in order that they 
might recoup themselves the great expense of the 
war: besides, the other countries blamed them for 
keeping the trade closed for so long. They therefore 
sent a letter by the American head-man and Howqua, 
saying : — " If you want peace, and do not press 
" other matters, all we ask is trade as before ; and 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 29 

" any ships smuggling opium may be confiscated with 
" their cargoes :" i.e. they dared not ask for either 
the opium indemnity or for Hongkong, as had been 
promised to them by K'ishen. Yang Fang ordered 
them back out of the Bogue; to which Elliot 
replied : — " The ships will retire when the Decree 
"authorizing trade is received ;"" — which was duly 
reported to the Throne by Iliang and Yang Fang. 

The enemy was now at our gates ; our soldiers 
were routed, the people flying, and we had no arms; 
and so there was no other way of obtaining a truce 
and the retirement of the enemy but by temporarily 
giving way: and, as neither the opium indemnity nor 
a port was demanded, China could have done so with 
much better grace than before K'ishen's degradation. 
This is the sixth turning-point in Canton affairs. 

Yang Fang, on his way to Canton, had heard 
that peace was likely to be made; so that, in order to 
back up K'isheN in anticipation, and secure his own 
position, he had separately recommended to the Em- 
peror that a " haven for stowage should bo granted," 
which proposal had considerably shaken the Em- 
peror's confidence in him. And now, as he did not 
take the ground in his reports that the pirates had 
since been admitted, that he had been defeated, and 
that some compromise was necessary to get rid of the 
foe ; nor the ground that the foreigners were by this 
time awe-stricken, that China's dignity had been 

80 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

vindicated, and that affairs had taken a turn of such 
importance that further mistakes should be avoided ; 
nor, again, that defensive preparations were now 
complete, and extermination would at once follow 
further outrages ; but simply indulged in empty and 
equivocal vapourings ; the Emperor put him down as 
an unsoldierly, undiplomatic individual, and would 
not agree to his recommendations. 

By this time the Ting-hai fleet had come, 
making a total of fifty large ships, half at Hongkong, 
and half in the river; and flags stuck up in the 
boats advertised opium for sale all along the river. 
Yikshan remained a while on the Kwang Tung 
frontier whilst means of attack were being hurried 
up from the provinces. He, Lungw^N, and the 
new Viceroy K'ikung, arrived in Canton on the 14th 
of April. Yikshan consulted Yang Fang and Litf 
Ts&H-su as to what was to be done, and they both 
said that Canton was entirely defenceless, and that 
the only thing was to get the foreign ships by some 
ruse or other outside Liptak and Tai Wong-kao, and 
then work day and night to block up the river, fortify 
the banks, and station bodies of soldiers at suitable 
places, so as to avoid being at the mercy of the 
western men. After re-inforcing and equipping our- 
selves we could then (they said) resume the offensive, 
and seize the first favourable opportunity of wind 
and tide to attack and burn the fleet. This month, 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 31 

however, Lin Ts^h-su received orders to proceed to 
Che Kiang, the Emperor having now formed changed 
ideas of the respective merits both of him and of 
K'ishen from the reports received from the Nanking 
and Foochow authorities ; and Yuk'ien," Viceroy at 
Nanking, was ordered to replace Ilipu as Com- 

At first Yikshan was sensible enough to listen 
to Yang Fang's advice and not risk a second fight 
until the new forces should have arrived; but, yielding 
to a desire for glory, he at last secretly ordered a 
sudden night attack upon the fleet from three 
different quarters, and only informed Yang Fang 
when the men had actually left the city. Yang 
Fang stamped and swore ; but it was too late. The 
attack was made by 400 braves from Sz Ch'wan and 
by 300 Cantonese, who, at a signal from a gun, rushed 
on the fleet in fire-boats carrying stink-pots, fire- 
balls, and long boarding-pikes. A certain amount 
of injury was done to two ships, and five sampans 
and several hundred foreign soldiers were drowned. 
Elliot managed to effect his escape from the factory 
where he was, and after his departure the place was 
completely rifled by the Hu Nan and Sz Ch'wan 
soldiery. Several Americans were wounded by mis- 
take. At daylight the fleet made a movement up 
to Canton, and all the combustible material, which 

32 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

had been brought down at such expense from Kwang 
Si, was set on fire by the steam-launches of the 
enemy and by the Chinese traitors. Three days later 
Elliot handed in a missive saying that a general 
attack would take place the next morning; and next 
day the city was attacked from the three sides which 
were surrounded by water. The 8,000 catty [five-ton] 
guns, which had been newly cast at Fatshan, were 
much dreaded by the foreigners ; but, unfortunately, 
no suitable positions could be found for aiming them, 
either on shore or afloat. Our soldiers, who had 
been detached, regardless of what Province they 
came from, in such a way that men and officers were 
strangers to each other, broke and fled, indulged 
in mutual recriminations, and began to complain 
about their pay. K'ikung, moreover, was too stingy 
to allow more than one tent to fifteen men ; so that 
the troops were all huddled together without discip- 
line, and looted around just as they liked. Add to 
this, Yikshan had disposed the greater part of his 
forces so as to defend the south and east sides, the 
mud rampart behind the city to the north-west being 
left undefended, so that the heights were taken in one 
day. These consisted of the T'ien-tsz Fort under 
Twan Yung Fuh, with 8,000 catty guns,— which 
were spiked before they had a chance of firing ; the 
mud rampart under Captains Tai Ch'ang" and 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 83 

Liu Ta-chukg ; * and the Square Fort under Ch'ang 
Ch'un, which last commandod a view of the whole 
city, and had resisted the Manchus for six whole 
months when they invested Canton 200 years ago, 
and the capture of which enabled them at last to 
take the city. It ought to have been razed long 
ago, and all approaches to the hill should have been 
obstructed. But, again, as it is three miles away from 
the river, and full of crags, one single man might 
have done something to defend it; yet, after the mud 
rampart had fallen, the enemy worked round north- 
east without meeting with any opposition whatever. 
Only 100 or so of them had appeared at the foot, when 
the garrison of the fort made off helter-skelter, several 
being killed by falls in their hurry; so that this 
important position fell into the foreigners' hands 
without a struggle, and was speedily fortified by 
them so as to dominate the helpless city; which they 
proceeded to bombard. On the seventh day the Tartar- 
General and his advisers took refuge in the Governor's 
palace from the missiles which came raining down 
on the south-east quarter of the inner or Tartar city, 
and, after a consultation, sent the prefect 6 of Canton 
outside to propose terms. Elliot promptly demand- 
ed, in addition to the opium-money, a war indemnity 
of $6,000,000, — the question of Hongkong to remain 
for discussion. The money was to be paid within five 

84 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

days, and the ships were to retire beyond the Bogue 
as soon as the Tartar- General and the soldiers from 
other provinces should have quitted Canton! [The 
total British losses were 'seventy killed and wounded.] 
All this was acceded to ; white flags were exhibited 
on the city walls ; the hong merchants were ordered 
to furnish #2,000,000, and the rest was contributed 
by the Treasurer's, Salt Commissioner's, and Hoppo's 
chests. This was reported to the Throne, — omitting 
all reference to the opium and Hongkong. The 
foreign soldiers in Square Fort then rejoined the 
ships, and Elliot insisted on the Tartar-General and 
his advisers leaving the city. Accordingly Yikshan 
and Lungw^n retired with their troops to Kin Shan 
[Cumshan], a dozen miles or so from the river, and 
withdrew the Hu Nan troops ; but Yang Fang was 
left in Canton to maintain order. LuNGW^N died 
of shame and mortification shortly after his arrival at 

Now, on their first arrival in Canton, the Tartar- 
General and his advisers had represented to the 
Throne that all the Cantonese people were disloyal, 
and all the Cantonese soldiers marauders, and there- 
fore marines had been brought all the way from Fu 
Kien, to the exclusion of Cantonese : disloyal persons 
detected were executed without trial ; and thus the 
Cantonese people suffered from a feeling of injustice. 
On the other hand, the English did not kill the 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 85 

Cantonese, and always released any local braves 
which they had taken prisoners, occasionally even 
attacking parties of bandits, and prohibiting all 
looting, so as to gain the people's sympathies. 
Consequently no response was made to the offers of 
reward for the enemies' heads. The people had 
witnessed the attack upon Canton from the walls ; 
and, when several of the city volunteers were unjustly 
killed by the Hu Nan braves, the former rushed, to 
the number of several hundred, into the Examination 
Hall to take revenge, and drove the soldiers helter- 
skelter to the Tartar-General's palace. Here they 
were somewhat pacified by Brigadier Twan's being 
deprived of his button and feather on the spot. The 
foreign soldiers also earned the ill-will of the people 
by giving way to plundering and lust; and as 1,500 
of their number did this the day after the peace, on 
their way down from Square Fort to the Mud 
Rampart, the exasperated villagers of Sam-yun a 
surrounded and killed 200 of them, including their 
General, Pehmeh Hapih, 6 whose head was as large 
as a bucket, and whose b&ton, orders, and double- 
barrelled pistol were also taken. The villagers of 
Sdm-shAn c attacked and killed another hundred of 

a H%m 

6 16 §? IS S The first two characters are the same as 
in Bremer, but this name cannot be identified. Possibly it may 
refer to Lieutenant Hadfield, who, however, was not killed. 

86 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

them, and captured two guns and 1,000 small-arrns. 
Elliot hastened to the rescue, and, as the crowds of 
villagers became more numerous, had to seek the 
assistance of the prefect. At this moment only a 
quarter of the ransom money had been paid, and 
the Fu Kien marines just arrived that very day. 
If orders had been given to surround and slay the 
foreign soldiers and take the [civilian] foreigners 
prisoners, we might have held them as hostages, 
ordered the ships beyond the Bogue, and then 
discussed terms at leisure, entirely as it should have 
suited us. This is the seventh turning-point in 
Canton affairs. However, our generals had not the 
wit to see this, but sent the prefect to use his 
persuasive powers with the people. After a whole 
day, he at last succeeded in getting Elliot safely out 
of the crowd on board his ship. The foreign ships 
now left one after the other ; some of the largest got 
ashore, and the country people offered to burn and 
plunder them ; but K'ikung would not hear of 
it Notwithstanding, a military graduate** did succeed 
in blowing up one of the foreign ships at Ch { un-pi 6 
[Chuenpee] by means of some fire-ships he had got 
together, and all the others then made off. Another 
success was that of the Fatshan volunteers, who got 
to the windward of the Kwai-kong c Fort, and killed 
a score or more of the enemy by throwing a 

a mnn *$& 'fin 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 87 

poisonous dust into their eyes. They also succeeded 
in routing a foreign sampan sent to the rescue. All 
these facts were duly reported to the Emperor, who 
sarcastically replied, that the " village volunteers had 
" apparently been able to accomplish more than the 
" whole of the armies of China!" Elliot, too, was 
very much mortified, and issued a " proclamation," 
forsooth, calling upon the people " not to test the 
" leniency of Great England's officers again!" The 
people sent him a defiant reply saying: — "As you pro- 
" fess that your ships and guns are invincible, why did 
"you not attack Canton during Commissioner Lin's 
" viceroyalty ? The other day, when you were 
"surrounded, why could not you fight your way out 
"without begging aid from the prefect ? Having now 
" entrapped our disloyal statesmen into peace proposals 
" and withdrawal of the troops, you succeeded in 
" getting far into the country. If you dare to show 
"your faces in the river again, and we do not 
" assemble in myriads to burn your ships and 
" annihilate your ugly selves, then we are not good 
."subjects of the Great Ts'ing Empire!" At this 
juncture there were 36,000 volunteers training night 
and day in the two Canton districts; and, when 
Elliot heard of these preparations, he dared not 
accept the challenge, but, knowing that it was 
hopeless to regain trade at Canton, changed his 
policy; and a month later the Amoy affair occurred. 

88 Chinese Account of the Opium Wars 

Wei Yuan the historian, in summing up, remarks 
that it was the closing of trade, and not the forced 
surrender of the opium, that brought on the Canton 
War, the events leading to which were, the objections, 
generally, to sign away the lives of opium traders, 
and, specifically to deliver over the homicide. 
[Great Britain had already sacrificed the gunner of 
the " Lady Hughes " in 1784, and the Americans 
tha Italian Terranuova in 1821]. It is plain that 
Elliot had not a rebellious heart, inasmuch as 
he offered to agree to confiscation, offered rewards 
for the discovery of the murderer, and wished to 
await news from home. Finally, the laws provide 
for the ransom of Mongols and other uncivilized 
criminals by a fine in cattle, so that our demands 
upon him were altogether too exacting. The 
Bear-Admiral Han should have been executed 
for his corruption, instead of being merely degraded. 
The Hoppo and his men, whose irregular charges 
more than doubled the regular import duties, and 
who had been battening for years upon the co-hong 
merchants, should have been compelled, instead of 
the latter, to pay for the war. It would have been 
better to sacrifice the Customs' interests for a time ; 
to devote full attention to measures of defence, and, 
by abolishing the Hoppo's extortions, to secure the 
good-will of the other foreigners. Just as the 
Astronomical Board avails itself of foreign as- 

Chinese Account of the Opium War, 39 

tronomers' labours, so we might have got a few 
Americans, Dutchmen, and Portuguese to instruct 
skilled Chinese artificers at Canton in the art of 
shipbuilding, and have offered to purchase foreign 
ships, guns, rockets, and powder from any persons 
wishing to* sell. Not only could we have obtained 
these articles in exchange for our produce, but we 
might have accepted them in payment of duties. In 
this way we might have been content to extract a few 
millions only from the co-hong merchants, and in a 
short time we should have been able to confront for- 
eign skill with Chinese skill. We could have leisurely 
strengthened the walls of outer Canton and the forts 
upon the river ; got our armies properly together, and 
trained them up to naval tactics, gradually extending 
the same reforms to Amoy, Ningpo, and Shanghai ; 
after which a grand review of all the fleets might have 
been held at Tientsin, and such a spectacle of naval 
greatness witnessed as China had never seen before. 
What enemv would then have dared to attack us ? 
How could opium then have ventured into China? 
What slanderers would have then dared to open 
their mouths? This would have been what may 
be called " setting your own house in order first." 
Why, then, the hurry to make a show on the high 
seas and abroad? Some say that if the efforts of 
Commissioner Lin, who preserved the proud integrity 
of Canton without charging for a single extra soldier, 

40 Chinese Account oj the Opium War. 

had been imitated farther north, the Emperor would 
have had no cause for serious anxiety at all, and the 
island pirates would have been reduced to impotence; 
that, therefore, it is unfair to lay all the blame on him, 
instead of on the unpreparedness in the north, and the 
cowardice afterwards shewn at Canton. Moreover, 
Lin earnestly recommended that foreigner should be 
got to fight foreigner after the fall of Ting-hai, and 
that the integrity of our possessions should be 
maintained, and the three millions at Canton spent 
upon ships and guns. What a pity his advice was 

not tried ! Wei Yuan agrees with the popular 

verdict that trade should not have been stopped, — but 
with the reservation that opium should not have been 
included any more in the trade, and that steps should 
have been taken to prevent the English from taking 
advantage of the weakness of China's maritime pre- 
parations to act as Hideyoshi 1 * once acted in Corea 
and Koxinga* in Formosa. Wei Yuan here reads a 
lecture upon the subject of not interfering with the 
man at the wheel, or with the driver of the coach 
who is entrusted with the reins : but this literary 
effort of his in no way concerns the story, and is 
omitted from this translation. 

$^it 'ff&gi 




Chinese Account of the Opium War. 43 




THE yielding to terms on the part of the English 
at Canton in May 1841 was owing partly to our 
armies having to escape from immediate peril, and 
partly to the anxiety of the enemy to replenish his 
military chest with our money ; so that neither side 
had leisure to think of trade arrangements : and the 
foreign soldiers, knowing, after their narrow escape 
at Sdm-yun Village, that they had drawn upon 
themselves the hatred of the people of Canton, \vhose 
ferocity they now had reason to fear, did not dare to 
enter the Canton Biver any more for purposes of 
trade. The co-hong merchants were unwilling to go 
to Hongkong on account of the perils of the sea, and 
therefore it was proposed to exchange Hongkong for 
Tsim-sha Point and Cowloon. As the Emperor had 
not yet been invited to agree to Hongkong being 
given up, the Tartar-General and the Viceroy felt 
that the other two places were still more out of the 
question, and therefore arranged that [the foreigners] 
should come to Whampoa as before. But the enemy 
would not allow us to repair the Bogue Forts, which 

44 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

they razed, conveying the masonry to Hongkong for 
use there. They also wanted us to remove the piles 
and other obstructions in the river. Whilst haggling 
was going on as to these points, trade existed only 
in name. The prefect had agreed with Elliot to 
pay a military indemnity of six million dollars in 
addition to the value of the opium ; but the Tartar- 
General called the former sum a "balance owing by 
the co-hong merchants," and never reported the latter 
at all. As soon as the foreign ships had withdrawn, 
we re-blocked the more important river-approaches, 
and rebuilt the forts ; and, in short, put our defences 
in such a state that the enemy could not force his 
way in as before. The hostile community now 
blamed Elliot for not having exacted another port, 
and "Spread a report that the King of England had 
blamed him for incapacity, and had appointed as 
military general in his stead Pottinger,* who wa* 
going up the coast, and would repeat the demands 
made last year at Tientsin. [He arrived on the 
10th of August.] 

There was a typhoon at Hongkong in July 
[21st], and K'ikung joined Iliang in despatching 
a hasty memorial, which reported that innumerable 
foreign ships had been dashed to pieces, innumerable 
foreign soldiers and Chinese traitors swept into 
the sea; that all their tents and mat -sheds, the 


Chinese Account of the Opium War. 45 

new Praya, etc., had been utterly annihilated ; 
that the sea was literally covered with corpses ; and 
so on. The Emperor thereupon returned solemn 
thanks to the god of the seas, and announced 
the event to the whole Empire. Over a hundred 
promotions were sanctioned for the gallant defence 
of Canton; — and meanwhile the whole fleet of 
foreign ships had gone to Fu Kien and taken 
Amoy! When Amoy was attacked the previous 
year, the Admiral Ch'en* had lost no time in 
obtaining sick-leave. T^ng T'iNG-CHiiNG and the 
taotai Liu Yao-ch'un 6 had confined themselves to 
defending the old forts and piling up ramparts of 
sand, the natural strength of which kept the enemy 
off. Admiral Yen Peh-t'ao, c on taking over charge, 
at once denounced his predecessor's cowardice in the 
most furious terms, and likewise K'ishen and Yang 
Fang for recommending peace at Canton : but he was 
in fact himself only a bragging and self-glorifying fool. 
He represented Tung's cautious, defensive policy in 
slighting terms, and requested the Emperor's sanction 
to an expenditure of two million taels, to be spent on 
fifty new ships of war, with which he proposed to 
sweep the English from the seas. He raised 9,000 new 
infantry and marines, and built three new forts on the 
islands off Amoy, all of which preparation proved 
waste labour when the news arrived of the peace 

*m%m "nnm c mfc* 

46 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

negotiations at Canton, and the new levies had to be 
dismissed. On the 26th of August, however, the 
foreign fleets appeared suddenly off Amoy, and 
handed in a document calling for the surrender of 
the port until all the demands made the previous 
year at Tientsin should have been conceded. The 
next morning the ships sailed into the inner harbour, 
and began to reconnoitre with steam-launches in order 
to find out the range and direction of our guns, which 
were ascertained to be all fixtures ; after which, of 
course, they kept out of range. A number of boats 
now advanced together, and their attack was met by 
our soldiers stationed on Kulang Sii and on two of the 
other islands. Two steam-launches and one man-of- 
war were sunk, and one mast was damaged besides. 
Two or three of their ships now concentrated their 
fire on one fort, and, after this had fallen, proceeded 
to another, causing considerable loss of life. Finally 
the great fort was attacked, and our dismissed 
marines turned renegade and assisted in the attack. 
Yen and Liu beat a retreat at the same moment ; the 
pirates landed, and turned our own guns upon the 
city of Amoy, the public buildings, markets, etc., of 
which place were demolished within twenty-four hours ; 
Yen and Liu retired upon T'ung-an a city, and Amoy 
fell into the pirates' hands, [with a loss of two 
killed and seven wounded]. However, the foreigners, 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 47 

having thus possessed themselves of Amoy, did not 
keep it, bnt proceeded in a few days with the greater 
part of their fleet on to Ningpo, leaving only a few 
ships anchored off Kulang Sii. Accordingly, aboat 
the 22nd of September, Admiral Yen reported the 
" recapture " of Amoy to the Emperor ; but the sub- 
prefect of the place remained in hiding notwith- 
standing, and did not venture to re-assume his official 
duties. The Emperor degraded the Admiral to the 
third rank, but left him at his post, and despatched the 
under-secretary Twanhwa" to ascertain the true facts 
for his information. Meanwhile the foreigners on 
Eulang Sii were employing workmen to build for them 
more boats, with a view to reconnoitring up the river. 
With thirty of these, and five larger vessels, they ad- 
vanced up the Muh-chwang Creek, 6 and sank five of 
our war-junks with their guns. Tfro of our captains 
were killed, but a resistance was offered by the 
Admiral and Rear- Admiral in charge, who succeeded 
in sinking one large foreign vessel. The enemy then 
withdrew out into the open sea. They dared not 
venture up the Five Tiger Passage of the Foochow 
River, for this only contains enough water when the 
tide is in. 

To return to Ningpo. The foreign fleet had 
already left Ting-hai when Yuk'ien arrived in 
January as Imperial Commissioner in succession to 

a mm **»» 

48 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Ilipu, and the Generals in command did their best 
to repair the walls and fortifications, and to get their 
troops together again. Yuk'ien was as hot-headed 
as Yen Peh-t'ao, and totally ignorant of warfare : 
he was entirely in the hands of Lin TsSh-su — so long 
as Lin TsfeH-su was there : but, owing to the Canton 
Salt Commissioner having, at an audience of the 
Emperor, vigorously supported K'isheN at the ex- 
pense of Lin, Lin was ordered, first to Kashgaria, 
and then to the Yellow River works, so that the 
affairs of Che Kiang were left more without a 
guiding head than ever. At best Ting-hai was but a 
solitary island, not worth defending at the cost of 
weakening the mainland armies. To make matters 
worse, all the three Brigadiers were destitute of 
military science or strategy, and would have built 
one great wall enclosing as an hypothenuse the 
outer as well as the inner town, which was 
hemmed in on the other sides by the mountains, 
had the absurdity of such a system of defence not 
been dinned into Yuk'ien's ears by the people. 
The result was that nothing was done at all, let 
alone anything sensible. When the news of the 
peace and orders to disband came, five thousand 
of the best soldiers were at Ting-hai, four thousand 
more being stationed at different points around 
Chen-hai and Ningpo. About the beginning 
[the 4th] of September the foreign ships [the 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 49 

"Nemesis"] first attacked Shih P'u, a but were 
unable to do much damage on account of the rocks : 
they then cruised up and down for a time, and finally 
attacked Ting-hai on the 26th of September. Our 
guns damaged one of the steam-launches, which 
made off at once. Two days later, the whole fleet 
commenced an attack upon the Hiao-feng Hill, 6 but 
our troops were protected by the rocks, and a party 
of men who landed in a boat were driven off by 
our gingalls. Attacks made in other parts of the 
island were also repulsed by our guns. On the 
1st of October, the pirates took advantage of the 
exhausted state of our troops to advance from three 
different points, so as to confuse us ; and the boats 
of one party were sent back, so as to prevent the men 
from thinking of retreat. As the front ranks of 
the pirates fell, they were filled up from the rear. 
Our guns on the heights could not do much against 
a contrary wind, and by midday got too overheated 
to use. The pirates then recklessly scaled the hills 
and entered the city, the three Brigadiers all losing 
their lives in the fight: and thus Ting-hai fell a 
second time. [The Repository says that the Chinese 
defence was very noble.] 

With regard to the 4,000 troops garrisoning Chen- 
hai, Yuk'ien employed about 1,000 of them to guard 

a oJ Tnt the scene of the French attack in 1885. 

50 Chinese Account of the Opium War, 

the precincts of the city; the General Yu Pu-yun" 
occupied Chao-pao Shan 6 with another 1,000; and the 
Brigadier Sib Ch'ao-£n c defended Golden Fowl Hill 
across the river with a third. Observing a white 
flag hoisted on Chao-pao Shan, Yuk'ien saw that 
Yu Pu-yun was unfaithful, and did his best to rouse 
the religious patriotism of the soldiers; whilst 
Yu Pu-yun pretended that his foot so ailed him 
that he could not kneel down to join in the 
solemn vow. Yuk'ien reported to the Emperor 
that the foreign ships had, including black soldiers 
and disloyal Chinese, a force of quite 10,000 men ; 
and that his idea was to defend the several 
critical points if the pirate fleet advanced in one 
body, and to work at the defences day and night 
should they defer the attack. He pointed out the 
disadvantages under which the Chinese lay in point 
of discipline and unity as compared with the in- 
vaders ; but vowed not to leave Chen-hai alive, or to 
receive any propositions from the enemy on that 
account. On the 10th of October the foreign fleet 
attacked the above-mentioned three positions. 
General Yu and his men bolted without firing a 
shot, and the force on Golden Fowl Hill was soon 
silenced and routed. Seeing that there was no escape 
for Chen-hai, Yuk'ien sent his aide-de-camp to the 
Governor with the Imperial Commissioner's seal, and 

a &$m >*9*ui e m®& 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 51 

drowned himself in a pond.* On the 13th, four 
men-of-war, two steam-launches, and a flotilla of 
boats appeared before Ningpo, whence Yu Pu-yEn 
again bolted, followed by the taotai and the 
prefect 6 T6ng T'ing-ts'ai, to Shang-yii city. The 
cities of Ts'z-k'i and Yii-yao were captured by 
small boats, were found deserted by their popula- 
tions, and were plundered and burnt: robber 
bands started up; and the whole province was 
thrown into a state of panic. The dastardly 
Yu Pu-yun reported to the Emperor that poor 
Yuk'ien had been the first to flee; and spread a 
report that the foreigners had attacked Ningpo in 
order to avenge the death of the white barbarian 
W6n-li, c whose head had been stuck upon a pole 
during the summer by Yuk'ien. This was re- 
presented to the Emperor by the Governor Liu 
Yun-k'o;* but, unfortunately for this argument, 
the enemy had already gone back on his treaty 
at Canton, unsuccessfully demanded Cowloon and 
Tsim-sha, and refused permission to rebuild the 
Bogue Forts ; and had moreover already announced 
his intention to take Amoy first and Ting-hai 

« He was rescued, but swallowed gold afterwards, and expired 
near Yii-yao city. — Repository. 

b fft «E£ S§5 brother of the Viceroy Teng. 

c flfi 8E Captain Stead, of the " Pestonjee Bomanjee," was 
murdered by YUk'ien or his minions. — Repository. 

52 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

afterwards: finally, the foreigners had stated by 
proclamation and letter that their intention was to 
exact ports for trade, not saying one word about 
Yuk'ien. And it may here be mentioned in 
anticipation that, the following year, when Ilipu 
at Cha-p'u asked the British chief why he was 
again invading us, the letter of reply contained 
not one word alluding to Yuk'ien, whose only fault 
was that his capacity was not equal to his ardour. 
[The British losses at Ting-hai and Chen-hai were 
17 killed and 36 wounded.] 

The Emperor now appointed the imperial clans- 
man Yikking as Generalissimo, with two other Man- 
chu dignitaries as advisers. Niu KieN,* Governor 
of Ho Nan, was appointed Viceroy at Nanking, and 
Iliang was made Imperial Commissioner for Fu 
Kien. Niu's idea was to hire as manv braves, 
robbers, and scoundrels of all descriptions as could 
be got together from the provinces ; to keep up a 
harassing guerilla warfare ; and to station agents in 
the places occupied by the foreigners, so as to prepare 
for rendering assistance when a suitable time should 
come. The Ningpo people, like the Cantonese, were 
put down as " disloyal." All this was approved by 
the Emperor, who ordered Yikking to put the enemy 
off guard by discharging his functions in the first 
instance from Soochow. There his staff behaved so 


Chinese Account of the Opium War. 58 

extravagantly and dissolutely that he decided to 
remove his head-quarters to Kia-hing [Kashing]. 
Here he and one of his advisers both had an identical 
dream, to the effect that the foreigners had swarmed 
on board their ships, and had left in a panic ; which 
fitted in exactly with a piece of intelligence, reported 
from Ningpo that very day, to the effect that the 
foreigners were getting their arms on board the ships. 
This filled them both with a desire to fight at once ; 
and the whole party, suites included, proceeded to 
Hangchow, where the second adviser, T'Shishun, a 
was placed in charge, whilst Yikking, with his fellow 
dreamer WSnwei,* went to Shao-hing city. 

Now there had been a great deal of snow 
during the winter, followed by heavy rains, so that 
all the stock of fire-boats and the fuel collected was 
out of condition and useless. Notwithstanding the 
prayers of everyone that he would postpone the 
attack for at least a fortnight, Yikking obstinately 
refused to wait, and fixed the 15th of March, 1842, as 
the date for the> recovery of the occupied cities in 
full force, thus ignoring the previously agreed upon 
arrangement about guerilla fighting. The enemy, 
hearing of these preparations, naturally prepared 
themselves too: the foreign officers all went on board, 
leaving only a few hundred men in charge of the large 
guns on the city wall, to deal with any army advan- 

54 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

eing by the west gate. At Chdn-hai they proceeded 
to take possession of the Chao-pao Shan, so as to be 
able to bombard thence onr men as they poured 
into that city. This was the interpretation of the 
dream ! Our troops were strictly enjoined not to use 
fire or rockets, lest they should set fire to the town ; 
the only thing to be done was to try and get the 
Chinese traitors to betray the foreigners, especially 
the chiefs, into our hands, when the recapture of 
the cities would be easy, and we could arrange our 
own terms with the hostages in our hands. Yikking 
entrenched himself with 3,000 men in the east suburb 
of Shao-hing. WfiffWEi occupied the heights of 
Ch'ang-k'i," one mile from Ts'z-k'i city, with 4,000 
men, half of whom were under Colonel Chu, 6 and 
intended for an attack on Chta-hai. General Twak 
Yung-fdh c lay concealed outside the walls of Ning- 
po with 4,000 men, destined for an attack upon 
that city ; and a Colonel with 1,000 more men 
guarded the Ningpo and Chen-hai road at Camel 
Bridge, half way between the tw# cities. Boats 
were also sunk at Mei Hu; d so as to prevent river 
communication ; and a reserve force of volunteers was 
stationed at Shang-yu city. When the appointed 
time came, our men marched towards the west 
gate, when, the guard having been killed by our 
friends in the city, who also spiked the guns on 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 55 

the walls, the men advanced through the gate right 
up to the prefect's and magistrate's yamins before 
the foreigners knew what was taking place. Then 
followed a street fight, and our troops found them- 
selves taken in the rear by a foreign force which had 
come to the rescue from the north gate. Finding it 
impossible to withstand the rockets and guns with 
which the foreigners peppered them from the house- 
tops, they retired, fighting as they went, with a 
loss of 250 men. General Twan, coming up with 
reinforcements, turned round and bolted, not even 
attempting to rally the men, or even to fall back 
upon and defend his camp at Ta-yin Shan. a 
General Yu Pu-YUff, who was advancing with 
2,000 men from Fung-hwa, as soon as he heard of 
the defeat, turned and fled all night long into the 
open country. So much for our arms at Ningpo. 
Of the force at Ts'z-k'i, a part, that is 500 men, 
succeeded in getting into Chen-hai in the same way 
as had been done at Ningpo ; but our agents in the 
city were too few to secure the persons of the pirates, 
and it was daylight before. our fire-arms could be 
sent for. The enemy then gave us a broadside from 
his position on Chao-pao Shan, which drove our men 
helter-skelter out of the city. Colonel Chu, with 
his reinforcements, lost his way in the wind and rain, 
and never came up to Chen-hai at all. So much for 

56 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

our arms at ChSn-hai. Then it was that the error 
of all these hasty arrangements was manifest : but no 
irreparable disaster had yet occurred, as our total 
losses did not exceed 300 men. The position at 
Ts'z-k'i was again re-occupied with 1,700 men, and 
the city itself was guarded by volunteers. Yikking 
neglected alike to decapitate the cowardly generals, 
and to himself advance up to Shang-yu ; and, as 
the commander of the local volunteers at Ts'z-k'i 
was sent for to consult on the situation, the volun- 
teers found themselves left without a head, and so 
dispersed. A week later, the enemy sent steam- 
launches to burn our fire-boats, and landed between 
2,000 and 3,000 men to attack our position near 
Ts'z-k'i: as before, their boats were withdrawn 
to prevent the men from thinking of retreat. 
Colonel Chu met them with 400 of his men 
armed with gingalls. Over 400 foreign soldiers 
were killed, including their chief PA-MEH-TSUN a 
[? Bramston], not one of our men being even 
wounded behind their shelter. If at this moment the 
foreigners could only have been taken in the rear, 
we might have gained a complete victory ; or even 
if we had had a few hundred men to guard the rear 
of our position on the hill, we might at least have 
prevented a defeat W^Nwei's camp was only a 
few miles off; but he refused to send any re-inforce- 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 57 

ments until the evening, when it was too late ; for 
the foreigners had then taken us in the rear, and 
defeated us, Colonel Chu and his son both falling 
in the fight. The enemy was exceedingly unlikely 
to have gone on to Ch'ang-k'i that night : but the 
cowardly WfiffWEi deserted his position and bolted 
during the darkness, distributing lavish rewards to 
boatmen and chairmen as he went, so as to escape 
the pursuit of the English. As he had bolted, his 
troops naturally broke too, leaving all their stores 
and arms to take care of themselves. WSnwei 
then reported to the Emperor that his camp had 
been burnt by " disloyal Chinese ;" whereas the 
English had not come up even on the evening of the 
following day ! The idea which now suggested itself 
was to fix the head-quarters at Shang-yii, entice 
the foreign soldiers farther inland, and to try fight 
after fight in order to prevent their harrying 
Kiang Su province, and in order to discourage them 
from placing their demands too high. Yikking and 
W&NWEI, however, had now completely lost their 
heads. They represented to the Emperor that only 
seven of our men had escaped alive in one fight, 
in which, as a matter of fact, only seven had been 
even wounded ; that over a thousand instead of 
just over a hundred had been killed at Ts'i-k'i; and 
that 17,000 English instead of between 2,000 and 
3,000 had landed there. They then retired from 

58 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Shao-hing to Si-hing, whence Yikking finally crossed 
to Hangchow. These were our efforts by land. 

Our naval programme had been to collect a 
force of fishing boats at Cha-p'u, and endeavour to 
recapture Ting-hai : over 10,000 marines had been 
stationed in various places with this object in view ; 
but Yikking continued to listen to the craven counsels 
of his aide-de-camp Jungchao,* and ordered them 
to disperse : he also withdrew the war-junks and 
fire-boats, in consequence of which the destitute 
fisherman marines now went over to the foreigners. 
These were our doings afloat. There was one officer, 
Ch6ng Ting-ch^n, 6 notwithstanding, who had the 
courage to disobey orders, and Yikking was half 
inclined to listen to Jungchao's advice to have 
him executed, only refraining from this dastardly 
act owing to the indignant remonstrances of Tbang 
Hu-ch'ing, c the literatu8 who had originally recom- 
mended guerilla warfare. Yikking now ventured 
back across the river once more, and issued orders in 
all directions for all the soldiers to fight as they best 
could : the result of this was that over 300 British 
and Sikh heads were brought in within a fortnight : 
also four English officers and over 50 soldiers, 
white and black, were sent prisoners to Ningpo, 
with two disloyal Chinese advisers. Meanwhile 
Ch£ng Ting-ch'£n, with his fire-boats, managed to 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 59 

barn or sink four large men-of-war and about a 
dozen boats, during which operations from 500 to 
600 foreign sailors were drowned. The magistrate 
of Chen-hai also earned a laurel by a bold attack 
upon the fleet in the open, off Chen-hai, and Tieeino 
received a double peacock's feather in consequence ; 
whilst the two heroes themselves received propor- 
tionate rewards. This created a tremendous com- 
motion at head-quarters. Those who had defended 
Ch&ng clamoured for their share of notice, whilst 
those who had attacked him vowed that the victory- 
was imaginary." The Governor Liu Yun-k'o 6 
became the mouthpiece of the second clique; but 
Ch&ng closed their mouths by sending four large 
boats full of charred and splintered foreign planks, 
as well as the heads and original clothes of his 
pirate victims. The Governor, however, had 
already asked that Ilipu might come to Ningpo 
to discuss terms of peace, and the Emperor had 
appointed the imperial clansman K'iying* as 
Imperial Commissioner, to be assisted by the Acting 
Tartar-General at Hangchow and by one Ts'ishSn* 
as associates. They were ordered not to advance, 
nor to take the heads of stray barbarians, the penalty 
for doing which was now declared capital. The 

a The Repository of 1842, pages 455 and 470, shews that this 
victory was purely imaginary. No fight took place at all, still less 
was any foreigner killed. 

60 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

repairs to the Yellow River having now been com- 
pleted, Lin Ts^H-stJ was again ordered to Kashgaria, 
and the Grand Secretary Wang TiNG, a who had been 
associated with him, died of grief and mortification. 
Meanwhile the English made reconnoitring ex- 
peditions round Shanghai and up the Yangtsze ; 
obtained at Ningpo maps of the Empire and charts of 
the Yangtsze and Yellow River; turned our dis- 
charged fisherman marines into pilots and guides; 
manufactured a number of small boats for use in the 
creeks ; and exacted from the gentry of Ningpo, as 
the price of their retirement, an indemnity of 
$200,000, withdrawing on 'board their ships on the 
7th of May. Yikking and his party accordingly 
reported that he had "forced the British troops to 
retire," and had recovered Ningpo. The real facts 
were that a steamer had been sent to England to 
report the capture of Ningpo, and that six months 
later a reply had been received from the King 
ordering the ships to proceed again to Tientsin to ask 
for open ports and free trade, the retirement of the 
troops from Ningpo having nothing whatever to do 
with the movements of our armies. Towards the 
middle of May the foreign ships at Chen-liai also 
left the place for the north, leaving only four ships 
and 1,000 men in charge of Ting-hai. The two 
promontories 6 at the mouth of the Hangchow River 

•3* - *« m, it in 

. Chinese Account of the Opium War. 61 

had lately silted up so much that the foreigners could 
not get up to Hangchow with ships ; but on the 18th 
of May they bombarded Cha-p'u, and landed a force 
to attack the east gate. Here they were met by 
troops from Shen Si and Kan Suh armed with 
gingalls, receiving such rough treatment that they 
went round to the south gate. As the Manchu 
garrison had been in the habit of calling the 
Chinese*" disloyalists," the Fu Kien braves sided 
with the enemy and set fire to the town. The 
foreigners then got over the wall and burnt the 
Manchu quarter, 6 the Assistant Tartar- General and 
the Acting Sub-Prefect losing their lives, and the taotai 
escaping to Kashing, which place, as also Hangchow, 
was now threatened too. When Ilipu arrived at 
Cha-p'u, the English demands were so extravagant 
that nothing definite could be arrived at ; and, when 
the Governor requested the Emperor's sanction to 
the restoration of the score or two of white and black 
barbarian prisoners, the foreign ships had left Cha- 
p'u. The prisoners were then sent to Chen-hai, and 
it was suggested that bygones should be bygones; 
but the English would not listen any more. The 
Emperor ordered the Tartar-General or one of the 
Associates to proceed to Kashing ; and on this Yik- 

* See description of the southern sandbanks in the Repository 
for 1842, page 290. 

& Ever since this the Assistant Tartar-General has had his 
office at Hangchow. . . ,..,, ... ». 

62 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

king crossed over north. No sooner bad the Imperial 
Commissioner K'iying arrived at Kashing, than he 
received the Emperor's orders to go to Canton, and 
T^hishun* was ordered to act as Tartar-General of 
Hangchow. This was because the Censor Su T'ing- 
k'wei,* had represented that the Nepaulese had 
attacked the English garrisons in India, and that 
the fleet had to go to the rescue: accordingly 
K'iying was ordered to see if he could not seize 
the opportunity to retake Hongkong. When matters 
became pressing at Nanking, he was equally suddenly 
ordered back, before he had reached Canton. At this 
time there were fourteen foreign ships at Hongkong ; 
a score or two of sampans and small craft; about 
one thousand foreign soldiers ; and a large sprinkling 
of disloyal Chinese. Yikshan having succeeded 
in drawing off over 3,000 of these last, the chief 
men of those remaining in Hongkong also for the 
most part shewed a wish to come back to their 
allegiance. These disloyalists proposed to put the 
Bogue Forts in order, take advantage of the winter 
neap tides, join with the Hongkong disloyalists, 
make a surprise attack on the fleet, and annihilate the 
whole foreign community at one blow : but Yikshan 
was afraid of exciting K'ikung's anger, and would 
not allow it. The Emperor deprived Yikshan of 
his chief official titles for his incapacity, and Iliang 

Chinese Account of ike Opium War. 63 

was ordered to replace Yen Peh-t'ao, also degraded 
for failing to destroy the fleet at Amoy. On 
the 18th of the 4th moon the foreign ships left 
Cha-p'u, a and a number of them arrived off Wusung 
on the 3rd of the 5th moon ; and on the 5th Niu Kirn 
received instructions from Yikking to temporize: 
but, as he delayed sending his orders to the foreign 
fleet for two days, it was already too late. The 
Magistrate of Pao-shan city, near Wusung, had 
proposed to lay an ambush and entice the foreigners 
ashore, leaving the forts 'to themselves; but the 
infatuated Niu Kien did nothing but allow the 
remnants of the troops, who had fled so ignomi- 
niously at Ningpo, to plunder the natives, who thus 
felt their hearts fill with rancour. 

On the 1 6th of June, the General commanding at the 
forts opened fire upon the foreign ships, sinking two, 
cutting in two the masts of two others, and causing 
the death by drowning of over 200* foreign soldiers. 
The foreigners attacked Siao Sha-pei c in boats, routed 
with a ridiculously small force the cowardly 
contingent from Ningpo, landed a few men, killed 
the general with a cannon shot, and put to flight 
the several thousand soldiers who lined the bank. 

« The forces withdrew from Chap'u on the 23rd May : the 
dates here appear to be somewhat confused, and cannot be 

& No such losses are mentioned in the Repository. 

64 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Niu Kien fled to Kia-ting city, and the easternmost 
fort was also abandoned ; so that Pao-shan city, with 
a vast amount of war materiel, fell into the enemy's 
hands ; to the great consternation of Shanghai, which 
place was at once abandoned by both the civil and 
military authorities, who fled to Sung-kiang. The 
Fu Kien marines thereupon became bandits, and 
took to burning and plundering. On the 19th eight 
or nine foreign ships came up to Shanghai, but 
that city was already deserted. Two days later, the 
foreigners took two steam-launches and four or five 
sampans up to a point near Sung-kiang, where they 
were opposed by 2,000 Shen Si and Kan Suh 
soldiers, and retired after a protracted fusillade on 
both sides, repeating the operation with the same 
results the next day ; so that Sung-kiang escaped. 
The pirates next made a reconnaissance towards 
Soochow; but their launches were piloted by our 
fishermen on to the shallows, and had to go back. 
On the 23rd the ships withdrew to Wusung, intend- 
ing to enter the Yangtsze. On the 18th of July they 
were off Kwa Chou ; but, finding that city deserted, 
they turned to Chinkiang on the opposite side. 
Hailing, the Assistant Tartar-General* over the 
Manchu garrison there, was an imbecile creature, 

« Admiral Parker with two small iron steamers proceeded 
about 50 miles above Shanghai on the 22nd June. — Repository, 
page 676. 


Chinese Account of the Opium War. 65 

and Niu Kien, after failing to close the Wusung 
river to attack, should have hastened to Chinkiang, 
concerted measures of defence with the Associate 
Ts'iSHftN and the General Liu Yun-hiao," and 
assumed supreme command over the Tartar Hailing : 
if this had been done, the foreign ships would not 
have gone straight on to Nanking, and we might 
have tried to burn them ; or, anyhow, should have 
treated with them without being at their mercy. 
But Niu Kien fled straight to Nanking, and Hailing 
told Ts'ish&n and Liu to leave him alone and 
defend the outer city. He would not allow any one 
to leave the city, and slaughtered a number of 
disloyal Chinese, thereby exciting a general panic 
of indignation. He made no preparations, collec- 
ted no stores for defence, and made no attempt 
to organize a volunteer force. The thousand or so 
of Manchu garrison troops, and the 600 Chinese 
troops were scattered about anyhow. The troops 
outside the city kept off those pirates who had 
landed during a couple of days; after which the Eng- 
lish, 6 whilst making a feint of an attack upon 
the north gate, secretly sent a body of men to scale 
the wall on the south-west side, and swarmed into 
the city, with a loss of only one c or two men. The 
English first burnt the Manchu camp, Hailing 

a 21 it %>. h 21st July, 

e The Repository says we lost 169 killed and wounded. 

66 Chinese Account oj the Opium War. 

falling at the hands of his own men, a and Chinkiang 
was then given over to plunder and massacre. The 
Ningpo barbarian chieftain Pottinger wished to 
proceed thence to Tientsin at once; but Morrison 
prevented him, saying : — " This is the key to China's 
" rice-tribute supply, and as long as we keep our 
" finger on it, we shall have our own way ;" and so 
he did not go. At this moment there were over 
eighty foreign ships thundering in the river, and 
reaching up as far as I-cheng, 6 where all the salt- 
junks were set on fire, notwithstanding the offer of 
Tls. 500,000 on the part of the Yang-chow salt- 
merchants. On the 9th of August the ships had all 
reached Nanking, and the Emperor, anxious about 
the tribute-rice communications, gave K'i-ying c 
carte blanche to act as he should see fit. The enemy 
had already received the King's instructions not to 
insist upon a military indemnity or the value of the 
opium, if only trading privileges were extended to 
the other provinces; and no more opium would 
come to China. It was for this reason that the 
foreign army left Ningpo in May, and issued a 
"proclamation" at Cha-p'u, saying that they were 
going to Tientsin to seek peace in accordance with the 
King's commands. Ilipu now sent Chang Hi d and 

« The depository says he committed suicide, and received high 
posthumous honours. 

*«* '$$ d $« 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 67 

others to the foreign ships. The foreign chieftains 
demanded (1) twenty million dollars, to be paid up over 
a period of three years ; (2) Hongkong as a trading 
place; (3) permission to trade at Canton, Foochow, 
Amoy, Ningpo, and Shanghai ; (4) foreign officials to 
be on terms of equality with Chinese officials ; and 
the rest as proposed last year. Chang Hi said that 
$6,000,000 had already been given at Canton last 
year towards the indemnity and the opium, and 
asked if the monev demand now made was not 
excessive, and the number of ports named too great 
altogether. Morrison said : — " This is the sum we 
" require, and, of course, not the sum which China 
"offers. Moreover, our leading idea now is open 
" trade, and not to get money. ' If we only obtain 
" one or two ports for trade, China may decide for 
" herself about the indemnity and the opium:" but 
the high authorities, instead of giving a prompt 
answer, sent back Chang Hi with a message ; and, 
whilst he was moving to and fro' during a period of 
two days, the enemy had learnt from disloyal Chinese 
that new troops were being ordered up, and said 
" that we were only trying to gain time, and that 
" unless an agreement were come to that day hostilities 
" would commence on the morrow ;" — their desire 
being for a speedy peace, as they did not really expect 
to get all they asked. But all our leaders now lost 
courage, and sent a reply that night, submitting to 

68 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

everything, and not alluding at all to the rule about 
opium being excluded from China. The English 
were overjoyed, and our leaders followed the example 
of those at Canton after the Square Fort had fallen, 
and reported to the Emperor that the enemy's guns 
were on Mount Chung, a and that the whole of Nanking 
was at their mercy. They also pleaded that in times 
gone by "the Emperor K'ien-lung, when un- 
" successful in Burmah, had abandoned 5,000 li of 
" territory beyond the frontier," thus maligning the 
acts of past sacred monarchs by trumping up false 
parallels ; for, as a matter of fact, the slab over 
the T'ung-pih 6 Gate of Yiin Nan declaring that 
" China's territory ends here " was put up by 
K'aNg-hi, whose maps, still extant, could hardly 
accuse his successor of having "lost" 5,000 li 
beyond it ! The enemy also said that the document 
treating of conditions must bear the seal of the 
Emperor c of China, and that they would send it 
home by steamer to have the King's seal affixed, and 
that the ships would only retire to the sea-board ; but 
that their troops at Chusan, Amoy, and Hongkong 
must remain three years, until the whole of the 
indemnities should have been paid up, when they 
would be withdrawn. The treaty was concluded on 
the 29th of August by K'iying, Ilepu, and Niu 

III *$ 

« See Rescript of 8th September l842.—Beposit&n/, page 629, 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 69 

Kiek, who went in person on board the enemy 
Pottinger's ship [the " Cornwallis"]. Two days 
later Pottinger, Morrison, etc., went into the city ; 
and had an interview with our officials at the Cheng- 
kioh a Temple. 6 For days in succession drafts were 
made on the provincial treasuries of Kiang-ning, 
Soochow, and An Hwei, and on the salt treasury of 
Yangchow, and several millions of taels were thus 
presented to the foreigners. In the middle of October, 
as the foreign ships were about to leave, a banquet was 
given by our leaders at the Temple, and a few days 
later all the ships withdrew to Ting-hai. The Em- 
peror now ordered up the Viceroy Niu Kien to be 
punished for not having guarded the mouth of the 
Yangtsze, and K'iying was appointed in his place. 
Ilipu was ordered from Che Kiang to Canton as 
High Commissioner for the drawing up of trade 
regulations. Yikshan, Yikking, W£nwet, and Yi) 
Pu-yun were are all cast into the Board of Punish- 
ments; but the last-named only was executed, — during 
the following winter. Punishments according to 
their several deserts were also meted out to the 
various civil and military officials along the coast 

who had lost their towns, and the districts annexed 
to the captured places were exempted from the 
payment of land-tax. 

6 The white flag was shewn on the 1 1th, and there were 
several conferences both ashore and afloat previous to the 29th. — 

70 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

This winter there occurred the demand for the 
Formosa prisoners. The year before and the next 
year happened the breaking of faith on the part of the 
Nepaulese, French, and Americans, and the burning 
of the factoiy at Canton by volunteers. The For- 
mosa prisoner case arose out of two reconnoitring 
visits paid by foreign ships to Formosa in the 
autumn of 1841 and the spring of 1842. One was 
wrecked during a storm at Tamsui, and the other 
was led upon the shallows by native fishing-craft 
at Ta-an. 6 In both cases the local volunteers 
surrounded and made prisoners of the crews; 
captured one large three-masted ship, two sampans, 
twenty-four white, and a hundred and sixty-five black 
barbarians, twenty guns, a number of small-arms, 
and a quantity of Government property taken by the 
said pirates at Ningpo and Ch§n-hai. The Brigadier 
Tahunga c and the taotai Yao Ying* had sent 
several memorials to the Emperor on the subject,* 
and in the spring of 1842 nineteen of the enemy's 
ships went to Formosa to take revenge. They were 
piloted in by native pirates ; but, our troops having 
destroyed the pirate junks, the enemy fired a few 

« March 10th. — Repository, 1842. 

**# c mmm d mm 

* These were the cases of the ship " Nerbudda " and the brig 
"Ann." the defenceless crews of which were kept in miserable 
captivity, and finally massacred in cold blood by the order of the 
authorities. Sir Henry Pottingbu's correspondence upon the 
subject is contained in the Repository for 1843. 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 71 

shots from a distance and decamped. The spies 
which they sent into T'aiwan from time to time 
were all taken and decapitated; so that Formosa was 
preserved entire. The Brigadier and the taotai 
received distinguished rewards at the Emperor's 
hands ; but, after the Nanking peace, prisoners on 
both sides were to be restored, and it was found that 
the Emperor had, during the summer, ordered the 
decapitation of the 165 black barbarians ; so that the 
white ones only were restored. The enemy's eye, 
Pottinger, then accused the Brigadier and the 
taotai of having wantonly massacred distressed 
British subjects. The peace party at Nanking were 
jealous of the success gained in Formosa, whilst the 
defeated authorities at Amoy felt particularly small. 
Kumours thus flew about ; and K'iying, acting upon 
private letters received from the Viceroy 6 and the 
General at Foochow, accused the Brigadier and taotai 
of obtaining unfair credit. The new Viceroy was 
ordered to proceed to Formosa and report, when it 
appeared that the Brigadier and the taotai had 
simply quoted the statements sent in by their sub- 
ordinates. As it was impossible to convict on this, 
pressure was put upon the Brigadier and taotai to 
force them to own up, in order to appease the for- 

« Six whites and three natives of India were restored. — 
depository, 1842, page 648. 

SS5) evidently brother of the Censor. 

72 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

eigners ; and they were both summoned to Peking. 
The soldiers became mutinous on hearing this news ; 
but the accused themselves prevailed on their troops 
to remain quiet The Viceroy resigned, and his 
successor sent all the correspondence up to Peking ; 
when the Emperor, seeing how unfair it was to 
blame the Brigadier and the taotai, did not punish 
them severely, and soon restored them to favour. 

The Ghoorkas are soi^h-west of Tibet, and con- 
terminous with the British East Indian possession 
Bengal, with which district they had a standing feud. 
Hearing in 1839 of the British raid, they represented 
to the Resident in Tibet that " they were neighbours 
"of the P'ileng* tribe belonging to Tili, and were 
"always being insulted by them; that, the Tili* 
" now being at war with a metropolitan possession, 
" they, the Ghoorkas, would be glad to attack the 
" Tili possessions in order to assist the Celestial 
" chastisement." If only our ministers' had known 
anything about geography or foreign politics, and 
allowed them to create a diversion, then England's 
Indian troops would have had their hands full at 
home, and could not all have come to China. This 
was our first offer of assistance from abroad: but 
our ministers, not knowing that the Tili were the 
English, that P'ilfing was Bengal, and that the 
Metropolitan Possession was Canton in China, re- 

a tk & J fil(? Delhi). 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 78 

plied that " the Heavenly Dynasty never concerns 
"itself with the mutual tiltings of savages;" and 
thus the Ghoorka barbarians abandoned the idea of 
attacking India, and the soldiers with which England 
made her raids entertained no uneasiness about India 
at all. After the Nanking peace in the autumn of 
1842, the British on their return to India ironically 
asked the Ghoorkhas to " come on :" the Ghoorkhas 
then turned upon the Residents, whom they addressed 
in very insubordinate terms. The Residents only 
just managed to keep them to a nominal allegiance. 

France and America are both powerful countries 
of the west, and, like the English, trade at Canton. 
They are hereditary enemies of England, but very 
obsequious to China. The previous year, when the 
English attacked China, and stopped all trade by 
blockading the coast, the other countries were very 
indignant, and said that, if the English did not return 
home soon, they would also bring up men-of-war to 
Canton and call them to account, — as Lin TsSh-su 
twice represented to the Emperor. All of a sudden 
Lin TsIsh-su was cashiered, and K'ishen thought of 
nothing but peace; so the matter fell short. In 
March, a when K'ishen was marched off a prisoner, 
the American head-man came a few days after to try 
and arrange matters. Hence came the suggestions 
that trade and no other demands should be 

* 12th March 1841.— Repository. 

74 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

granted, and that ships smuggling opium should be 
confiscated with their cargoes. But the leaders in 
Canton made a night attack upon the factories, and 
killed several Americans by mistake; so that the 
Americans were no longer willing to come forward 
in our interests. 

After the repeated breaches of their conven- 
tion by the English, the French foreign official 
several times offered his assistance in building 
ships. That winter two men-of-war arrived, with 
a military leader, who said he had some 
confidential business upon which he wished to 
confer with the Tartar-General: he begged 
that the services of an interpreter might be 
dispensed with, as he had two bonzes with him who 
understood Chinese. The Tartar-General Yikshan 
and the Viceroy K'ikuNG had several interviews with 
him outside the city. The attendants were dismissed, 
and it was confidentially represented that, the English 
having stopped the trade of all nations, the French 
King had sent men-of-war for protection, and had 
ordered him to act as mediator, and to proceed to 
Ningpo and Shanghai to arrange peace*, when he 
would have no difficulty in bringing the English to a 
proper sense of things, and in finding a way out of their 

« The Repository for 1842 says that an interview was held on 
the 22nd March between Yikshan and Col. db Jancigny; 
M. Challaye, the French Consul, was present. The "bonzes" 
were evidently French or native Catholics, in Chinese dress. 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 75 

greedy demands. If the English would not agree, 
he would find some pretext for fighting them. This 
was our second offer of assistance from abroad : but 
Yikshan at first refused even to represent the matter 
to the Emperor. The French then suggested that 
they should, as a first step, go to Hongkong and see 
Pottinger. After several days* discussion, they 
replied that the English demanded Hongkong and 
three millions [?oftaels] for the opium. Yikshan 
still declined to forward their representations to the 
Emperor. At last, when he did so, he added : — " but 
" the enemy's designs are unfathomable, and possibly 
" they are really assisting the English in an under- 
" hand way, and acting as spies on us for them." 
The French hung on from February to June, awaiting 
our commands; and at last in June proceeded to 
Wusung : a but the English were already far up the 
Yangtsze. The French wanted to engage Chinese 
pilots to take them up ; but the Shanghai officials, on 
the contrary, threw obstacles in their way ; and so 
much time was occupied in trying to obtain pilots 
that, at last, when the French entered the river 
in other boats, the treaty of peace was already con- 
cluded, 6 and the English had got all they wanted ; — 
anyhow a vast deal more than the French had 
proposed on their behalf. The French head-man 

« The " Erigone " arrived there on the 26th June. 

& Captain Cecille arrived in a junk just in time to witness 
the ceremony. — Repository, page 680. 

76 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

went back much mortified ; and the following winter 

returned to Canton to arrange about trade. The 

English desired that traders of all nations should 

report to them first, and then pay duties ; but the 

French and the Americans indignantly exclaimed : — 

" We are no dependencies of England, nor have we 

" been treacherous and bullying. Why then treat 

" them better than us ? " On this some American 

ships of war entered port, and, a few months later, 

some Frenchmen too. Both of them submitted 

letters, begging to pay tribute, and to be allowed to 

express their devotion at an interview. They also 

requested to be allowed to leave their ships in the 

south, whilst the tribute-envoys and a small suite 

went overland to Peking ; for they wished to make 

some confidential suggestions, and to assist us, — as 

the Uigurs once assisted the T'ang dynasty against 

the rebel Anluhshan. This was the third offer 

of assistance from abroad ; rejected, however, 

repeatedly by our ministers. Ilipu had already 

died at Canton ; and in 1843 K'iying was ordered 

thither to carry on his work : permission had been 

granted to one country after another to trade on 

the same terms as England without the interference 

of the co-hong merchants, and with liberty to go to 

the other ports, and stand on a footing of equality 

« K'iYlNG's proclamation is published in the Repository for 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 77 

with the mandarinate; so that the English even 
became patrorts of the others. 

The history of the volunteers or patriots of Canton 
is as follows. When the English were hard pressed 
at San-yuan Village, in the summer of 1841, they 
hesitated about coming to trade at Canton any more. 
But, after the peace, Canton was declared open by 
imperial decree, and the following winter the white 
barbarians went insolently all about the place. The 
exasperated people rose upon them, burnt and 
plundered the factory,* and killed some foreign 
officers and soldiers off Macao. The ships of the 
chief Pottinger were then at Canton, but dared 
not take any revenge. The Viceroy and Governor, 
however, punished the offenders in order to give 
satisfaction: but P'an SHiH-CH^ftNG, 6 a gentleman 
of Canton, engaged at his own expense a French 
foreign official named Lei-J£n-sz c [? Colonel 
de Jancigny] to order some snips and guns from 
France, and also some torpedoes for attacking 
ships under the water. Four two-masted men- 
of-war, as strong and well-built as any foreign 
ship, were thus built at his expense, at a cost of 

« 7th December 1842.— See Repository for 1842, page 687. 

The Repository for 1833, page 350, says that P'an Kiqua, 
father of the senior hong merchant, had been disgusted by seeing 
the tyranny practised in Manila. 

c »tt± 

78 Chinese Account of the Opium War. 

Tls. 20,000 for each ship, and Tls. 40 for each 
torpedo. On this the Emperor ordered the building 
of a new Canton fleet to be confided to him, quite 
free of all official interference, so as to prevent 
peculation ; but, owing to the obstacles thrown in the 
way by the high authorities, the matter dropped.* 
Thus China was neither without allies or internal zeal 
in the pirate war : but she had no one to take the 
reins in hand; and so her dependent barbarians 
were driven over to aid her enemy, and her brave 
people were turned into disloyalists: her patriots 
were even denounced as obstinate persons. 

Of late, with the trade all along the coast, the 
opium business is greater than ever ; and, at the re- 
commendation of the Canton Governor Hwang £n- 
t'ung, 6 the prohibitions against Soman Catholicism 
have been relaxed throughout the Empire. The 
foreigners in possession of Ting-hai and Kulang Su 
put pressure on the officials, and harbour all sorts 
of outlaws; whilst the man at Wu-shih Shan in 
Foochow [i.e. H.B.M. Consul] occupies the very 
heart of the capital, and can look over the whole 
city. The Governor-General and the Governor look 
helplessly on, and represent to the Emperor " that 
" they have only given him a tumble-down temple 

« The Repository for 1843, page 108, mentions an American 
as having been employed by native gentry. 

Chinese Account of the Opium War. 79 

" outside the city !" The gentry and people of 
Foochow are highly indignant ; and Lin TsfiH-sij, 
who is with his family, is in the specially blaek 
books of the high authorities there. 

In 1844, K'iying was recalled, and Hwang £n- 
t'ung was degraded to the rank of sub-prefect and 
sent home. In 1845 the English called upon us to 
keep K'iying's promise to admit them into the city 
after three years, and to allow the establishment of an 
office there ; but the Viceroy Su Kwang-tsin," with 
the co-operation of the patriots in the city and the 
Americans outside of it, succeeded in repelling them, 
and the enemy was constrained to retire re infecta. 
The Viceroy was made a viscount for this, and the 
Governor Yeh Ming-sh^n 6 was made a baron. 
Things were now tolerably quiet at Canton. The 
new Emperor, Hien-fung, as soon as he came to 
the throne in 1851, issued a special decree doing 
justice to the memories of Lin TsfeH-su, Yao Ying, 
and Tahunga for their efforts to maintain the 
integrity of the outlying parts of the Empire, and 
censuring K'iying's timidity and his error in defying 
the enemy. This decree was received with great 
satisfaction. e 

The barbarian pirate war lasted two years in all, 
and cost Tls. 70,000,000. There was always a 

* f& HIS b 38 W M> Commissioner Yeh, of 1860. 
c These last paragraphs seem to have been added on to a 
subsequent edition. 

80 Chinese Account of the Opium War, 

clamour for either peace or war ; but no one, strange 
to say, ever recommended a strictly defensive 
attitude. Again, fighting was neglected when 
fighting was proper, and indulged in when out of 
place : so, also, peace was neglected when peace was 
proper, and peace was decided for exactly at the 
wrong: time. Such defensive measures as we took 
were taken at wrong places, and neglected where 
really required. Instead of putting herself on the 
defensive, Canton went in wildly for peace; and 
instead of putting himself on the defensive, Yikshan 
went in wildly for war: whilst, again, Yen Peh- 
t'ao, Yuk'ien, and Kiu Kien went in for wildly 
defending indefensible places. If they had only 
known how to take advantage of the ground, guard 
the inner waters, strengthen their fortifications, 
drill their best troops, prepare a store of com- 
bustibles, and lay a series of ambushes, like Lin and 
TfeNG did at the Bogue and Amoy ! They should 
have appeared unable to conquer, and then waited 
to see if the enemy could give them the opportunity 
to conquer; when they could have fought on the 
defensive, or remained on the defensive whilst 
treating. If they had fought on the defensive, they 
would have had the benefit of other troops besides 
our own ; — for instance, the French and Americans, 
and also the Ghoorkas, as far as setting foreign 
enemy against foreign enemy goes : and they would 


Chinese Account of the Opium War. 81 

have had the benefit of other Chinese besides the 
patriots; — for instance, our rapscallions, as far as 
setting disloyalists against the enemy goes. If, on 
the other hand, they had remained on the defensive 
whilst treating, then we should have had nothing to 
fear, whilst they would have had everything to ask. 
We should have resolutely adhered to the opium 
interdiction as a means of closing their mouths 
and taking the spirit out of them, leaving the other 
barbarians deprived of their trade to come in as 
mediators, in which condition we could never but be 
declared by the latter otherwise than in the right 
against the English; whilst we must have gained 
their affection in the same measure as the English 
their hatred. In this way not only should we not 
have had to pay for any opium, but we should have 
been able to prevent for ever its coming any more 
in the future ; whilst the millions of money which 
we had to spend in war indemnities to the barbarians 
could have been devoted to the purchase of foreign 
guns and ships, the training of marines and firemen 
to attack, etc.; thus appropriating to our own pur- 
poses the armaments and defences of the foreigners 
themselves, and turning their arts and devices into 
our arts and devices, and at one effort both enriching 
the state and strengthening our arms. 

Oh ! opportunity ! opportunity ! It is only the 
true genius who can take opportunity by the fore- 

82 Cktmae Account efthe Opium War. 

lock ! It is only the sagacious who never miss 
opportunity. But the next best thing is to repent 
when the opportunity has gone by. Repentance, 
followed by capacity to change for the better, will 
yet enable us to repair our errors at some future 





/A By the same Author: 



Page 4, for ft read*. 

7 „ [Madras]' 1 „ Meng-mai [Bombay]' 

11 ,, our favour „ Our favour. 
,, 37 „ you succeeded n you have succeeded. 
62 „ fleet had to „ fleet had had to. 


3 blOS OD5 001 l&H 

(415) 723-9201 
All books may be recoiled arlei